Stock futures mixed as commodity prices plunge

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U.S. stock futures were pointing to a mixed open Monday as the U.S. Senate closed in on an infrastructure deal amid mounting concerns over the spreading of COVID-19 infections in Asia.   

Senators over the weekend voted 69-28 in support of provisions to the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that would provide money to repair roads and bridges and expand broadband coverage, among other things. 

CAR PART PRICES ARE HEADING HIGHER

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 97 points, or 0.28%, while S&P 500 futures lost 0.14% and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.15%. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs on Friday after the July jobs report blew past estimates. 

The strong jobs report sent the U.S. dollar to a more than four-month high against the euro as traders bet the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its asset purchases this year and hike rates by the end of next year. 

The rising dollar coupled with concerns the delta variant’s spread in China would weigh on global energy demand hit oil prices, with West Texas Intermediate crude tumbling $2.92 to $65.36 a barrel, a near two-and-a-half-month low. Oil majors, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., were lower.

Meanwhile, gold slumped $18.10 to $1,745 an ounce. 

In earnings, Barrick Gold Corp. reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and reaffirmed its full-year forecasts for gold and copper production. 

In deals, Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s reinsurance unit agreed to buy insurer American National Group Inc. for $5.1 billion cash, or $190 per share – a 10% premium to Friday’s closing price. 

Sanderson Farms Inc. was in advanced talks with Cargill Inc. and Continental Grain Co. to sell itself for about $4.5 billion, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. A deal, which could be finalized Monday, would value Sanderson at $203 a share. 

Overseas markets were mixed. 

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European bourses were lower across the board with Britain’s FTSE 100 falling 0.4%, Germany’s DAX slipping 0.15% and France’s CAC 30 down 0.09%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 ticked up 0.33%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.4% and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 1.05%. 

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