U.S. stock index futures traded higher this morning, as Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 61 points (0.4%) to 16,542 and the S&P 500 futures index rose 9 points to 1,932.50 (0.5%), reported Marketwatch.com this morning. The Nasdaq 100 futures index was up 22 points (0.6%) to 3,895.50, with the backdrop of higher prices in Asia and Europe, while bond prices slid as tension eased in Ukraine and the U.S. showed signs of pushing back militants in Iraq. The euro also was weak.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1.2 percent as of 7:26 a.m. in New York. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1.1 percent and Brent fell 0.1 percent.
U.S. equities rallied last Friday on Aug. 8 after Russia said warplanes ended drills near Ukraine. On Friday, the news sent the U.S. markets higher with Dow up 185.66 points to 16,553.93. Other indexes were up sharply, with the S&P 500 up 22.02 points to 1,931.52. All 10 major industries in the S&P 500 advanced. The Nasdaq was up 35.93 points to 4370.90, according to CNBC. Friday’s gains erased weekly losses for the indexes and Utilities climbed 1.7 percent for the largest gain.
The news on the financial side of the market has been positive. The jobs front improved last week as new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to this year's second-lowest level, a new sign of an improving labor market. Initial claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000 in the week ended August 2, the Labor Department reported last Thursday. The jobless claims is an indication that layoffs have dried up.
The monthly jobs report from the Department of Labor's, Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported another increase of over 200,000 jobs created for the sixth straight month.
In another piece of news, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported an estimate of the federal government deficit of $96 billion in July 2014 - slightly less than the deficit of July 2013. The federal government ran a budget deficit of $462 billion for the first 10 months of fiscal year 2014, CBO estimates - $146 billion less than the shortfall recorded over the same span last year. The deficit has improved due to an increase in revenues of 7 percent, and a smaller increase in spending of only 1 percent. The increase in revenues is due to the improved employment rate and the 2011 tax increase. The stabilizing of spending is due to the fiscal policy and responsible spending caps.