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Dow Futures Creep Up as Stock Market Eyes Record Highs Within Days

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:11 PM
Ben Brown
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:11 PM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures climbed 30 points higher in early trading Monday, pointing to a strong start to the week on the US stock market. With the index hovering just shy of its record peak, analysts are salivating over the prospect of fresh highs this week.

Any number of catalysts could push the stock into record territory. As CNBC reported, a blast of strong corporate earnings this week could send the Dow roaring past its previous high . Market strategy firm Fundstrat also sees an imminent stock market breakout :

“Our stance remains that markets will rally strongly into [year-end] as we expect the S&P 500 to break to the upside ..”

According to Fundstrat analysis, having already climbed 17% year-to-date, the stock market likely has another 3.1% left to run before the end of the year, based purely on historical averages.

Fundstrat stock market analsysis
In years when the stock market has returned 17% year-to-date through October, it has climbed an average 3% to the year end. Source: Fundstrat / Carl Quintanilla / Twitter

Dow creeps 30 points higher

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures  were choppy overnight but held 31 points higher at 5.25 am ET.

Dow (DJIA) futures chart stock market Monday
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures climbed higher on Monday, eying up fresh highs. Source: Yahoo Finance

S&P 500 futures  and Nasdaq Composite futures  were 0.2% and 0.28% higher respectively.

Corporate earnings could propel stock market to new highs

The week’s biggest potential catalyst is a string of corporate earnings reports . A quarter of S&P 500 companies are on the agenda this week, including Boeing, Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Intel, and Amazon.

With the exception of Goldman Sachs , last week’s major bank earnings beat expectations across the board. Investors now question whether concerns of an extended earnings recession were overblown. Expectations are low enough that a surprise to the upside is becoming more likely.

“If corporate earnings show signs of resilience, especially by the U.S. consumer, then a run to new highs is by no means out of the question” – Tom Essaye, The Sevens Report.

Dow downsides? Brexit, Trade War and Data

Despite renewed optimism in the corporate earnings arena, global concerns still persist. The crucial Brexit decision still hangs in the balance, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson battles to get his deal through parliament .

There’s a glimmer of hope in the US-China trade war as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He declared “substantial progress” over the weekend . Analysts now believe a preliminary deal before Thanksgiving is possible .

“It would be significant if they can get a phase one deal signed before Thanksgiving. The probability of that is probably a little bit over 60% right now” – Brett Ewing, First Franklin Financial Services.

Elsewhere, US factory orders for business in September are revealed this week. It’ll give investors a glimpse into how the latest tariffs have effected appetite. Manufacturing and services PMI data on Thursday could also inject vigor into the market if the numbers surprise to the upside.