Futures rise on optimism over economic revival

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday as a surprisingly upbeat jobs report last week added to optimism that the world’s biggest economy has weathered the worst fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Leading the gainers premarket were shares of companies hammered by the pandemic such as cruise line operators and airlines.

Carnival Corp (CCL.N), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH.N), American Airlines (AAL.O) and United Airlines Holdings (UAL.O) climbed between 10.6% and 17.5%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC closed within a striking distance of its Feb. 19 all-time peak on Friday after a closely-watched monthly jobs report showed an unexpected fall in unemployment rate.

The S&P 500 .SPX and the Dow .DJI are now 5.7% and 8.3% below their respective closing records after surging more than 45% from their pandemic lows hit on March 23 as most businesses have now reopened after weeks of shutdown to curb the spread of the virus.

This week’s centerpiece is the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, ending on Wednesday, where the jobs report is expected to be discussed.

It would be the first meeting since April when Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy could feel the weight of the economic shutdown for more than a year.

At 6:05 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 139 points, or 0.51%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 11.25 points, or 0.35% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 2.5 points, or 0.03%.

Gilead Sciences (GILD.O) gained 3.2% after a report said Britain’s AstraZeneca (AZN.L) had approached the U.S. rival about a possible merger to form one the world’s largest drug companies.

Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N), Devon Energy Corp (DVN.N) and Marathon Oil Corp MRO.O gained between 16% and 17.5%, among the energy companies surging after major oil producers agreed to extend a deal on record output cuts. [O/R]

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