Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to start their trading day:
1. S&P 500, Nasdaq to break records with two days left in August
Tourists line up for photos at the Charging Bull Statue in the Financial District of New York City, United States, on August 16, 2021.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
US stock futures rose slightly on Monday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs on Friday. The S&P 500 ended above 4,500 for the first time ever. The rally of the Dow Jones Industrial Average took it to 0.5% of its record close on August 16. Shares rebounded Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled central bankers are in no rush to hike rates. He said that decision-making about rate hikes is a different path than reducing bond purchases, which he believes could begin later this year. With two days left in August, the Dow rose nearly 1.5%, the S&P 500 rose 2.6% and the Nasdaq rose 3.1%.
2. This Friday job report could determine the future of the Wall Street rally
Whether Wall Street’s profits can continue may depend on the government’s latest monthly employment report due to be released on Friday. While Powell said the Fed had made sufficient progress on inflation, Powell said the labor market had not improved enough to begin reducing. Economists estimate that 750,000 non-farm jobs were created in August and the country’s unemployment rate will drop to 5.2%. The economy created 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%. Bond yields remained stable early Monday, with 10-year government bonds trading just above 1.3%.
3. New Orleans dark after Hurricane Ida; almost all oil production in the Gulf was stopped
A satellite image shows Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico and approaching the coast of Louisiana, the United States, August 29, 2021.
NOAA | about REUTERS
US oil prices fell slightly early Monday after rising 10.6% in their strongest week in more than a year. Gasoline prices rose over 1% after Ida hit land in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday. Ida was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland, but more than 1 million Louisiana electricity customers were without power, including the entire city of New Orleans. Ida came ashore exactly 16 years to the day after the devastating Hurricane Katrina. In the run-up to Ida, more than 95% of US crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was halted. Many refineries were also closed.
4. The US is working to get Americans out of Afghanistan as the Tuesday deadline looms
U.S. soldiers assist at an evacuation control check point (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 26, 2021.
Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla | US Marine Corps | via Reuters
Senior Biden administration officials said the US is in a position to evacuate approximately 300 US citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before the president’s deadline on Tuesday for US forces to withdraw from the war-torn country. The evacuations turned chaotic when the US government was caught by surprise when the Afghan army collapsed and the Taliban regained power on August 15, which carried out a fatal attack on Kabul airport last week.
5. Average daily Covid deaths in the US increase as the Delta variant spreads
The seven-day average of daily Covid cases in the US rose 5% to nearly 155,000 as of Saturday. Over the same period, daily Covid deaths averaged 1,274 – an increase of 27% compared to the previous week, fueled by the Delta variant. In cases in Israel, a barometer of US trends, daily infections hit a pandemic high of more than 12,100. Just a few months ago, new infections in Israel had declined by double digits following an aggressive national vaccination campaign, and there were a few days in May and June when no new infections were recorded. About 63% of the Israeli population are fully vaccinated. In the US, 52.3% of the population is fully vaccinated.
– Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all market activity like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with coronavirus coverage from CNBC.