Stock futures inches higher as the S&P 500 closes for 7th consecutive month of earnings


The bull sculpture, which depicts the rise of the market by the artist Reinhard Dachlauer, is pictured in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on December 29, 2020.

Daniel Roland | AFP | Getty Images

Stock futures rose slightly in overnight trading on Monday as the S&P 500 hit a record high for the seventh straight month.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 40 points. S&P 500 futures gained 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures were unchanged.

Zoom stock fell more than 11% in after-hours trading on Monday after the video conferencing software company saw slowing revenue growth in the second quarter. The stock decline even came as Zoom’s earnings beat estimates and the company raised its guidance for the full year as the pandemic worsened.

Tuesday marks the last day of trading in August and major averages are poised to post solid gains. The S&P 500 is up 3% this month while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is up 4% to post its third straight month of earnings. The blue chip Dow is up a more modest 1.3%.

“Despite rising geopolitical risks, concerns about peak economic growth, and the Federal Reserve moving closer to scaling back its asset-buying program, stocks continue to surge,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist, in a press release.

The S&P 500 has climbed a wall of worry to record highs this year without dropping even 5%. The broad equity benchmark is up more than 20% in 2021 after hitting its 53rd record close in Monday’s session.

Excellent corporate earnings supported the valuation and laid the foundation for stock prices to rise. With the second quarter reporting season ending, the S&P 500 is well on its way to posting earnings growth of 95.4%, which would be the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2009.

“We believe we are still at the beginning of the cycle and that strong economic and earnings growth and relatively low interest rates should support higher stock prices and sustain the bull market through 2022,” Wells Fargo strategists said in a note.

Investors await an important job report on the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Economists polled by Dow Jones estimate that 750,000 jobs were created in August and the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.2%.

On the political front, the Pentagon said the US had completed its evacuation efforts from Kabul airport, effectively ending America’s longest war.