Dow futures edge lower ahead of data-packed short week © Reuters

Investing.com — U.S. stock futures are little changed Monday at the start of a holiday-shortened week, with investors looking forward to key economic data as a guide to whether the strong gains that marked the first half of the year can continue.

By 06:50 ET (10:50 GMT), the contract was down 15 points, or 0.1%, while traded 4 points, or 0.1%, higher and climbed 35 points, or 0.2%.

U.S. stock markets are set to close early at 13:00 ET on Monday for the Independence Day holiday, and they will also be closed on Tuesday.

Optimism after strong first half of the year

There has been a sense of optimism on Wall Street on the back of surprisingly strong U.S. economic data and a growing belief that the world’s largest economy can withstand the aggressive year-long monetary tightening without falling into recession.

This resulted in all three main indices posting gains in the opening six months of 2023. The standout performer was the , which soared to its best first half since 1983 thanks in part to a surge in excitement over developments in artificial intelligence.

Economic data deluge this week

This week sees a number of top-tier economic releases, of which the highlight will be Friday’s U.S. .

The economy is expected to have added 225,000 jobs in June, a slowdown from May’s impressive 339,000 jobs, but still indicating a healthy labor market even if conditions were easing.

Ahead of Friday’s jobs report, markets will get updates on other areas of the labor market with data on private sector hiring from , and weekly .

Monday also sees the release of the , which will give the first glimpse into factory activity in June.

Tesla shines with record deliveries

In corporate news, Tesla (NASDAQ:) announced that deliveries in the second quarter jumped to a record 466,140, in a sign that a decision by the electric carmaker‘s boss Elon Musk to slash vehicle prices may be boosting demand.

The figure — which is seen by shareholders as the closest proxy for sales that Tesla makes available — was 83% higher than the same period last year, and helped Tesla’s shares soar over 6% higher in premarket trade.

Oil gains after Saudi Arabia extends supply cut

Oil prices gained Monday after Saudi Arabia extended its recent supply cut through August, further tightening the market and overshadowing concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said it would extend its voluntary cut of one million barrels per day for another month to include August, the state news agency said on Monday.

By 06:50 ET, futures traded 1% higher at $71.31 a barrel, while the contract climbed 0.9% to $76.07.

Additionally, fell 0.5% to $1,920.35/oz, while traded 0.2% lower at 1.0892.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

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