Stock-market futures struggle for direction ahead of Trump-Kim summit

U.S. stock-index futures switched between small gains and losses on Monday, as investors turned their attention to a highly anticipated summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore following a tense Group of Seven meeting over the weekend.

What are markets doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures

YMU8, +0.05%

 were up 17 points at 25,338.00. S&P 500 futures

ESU8, -0.02%

 switched between small gains and losses, last trading flat at 2,782.25, and Nasdaq-100 futures

NQU8, -0.14%

 gave up early gains, losing 8 point at 7,168..

The Dow Average on Friday finished with its best weekly gain since March, heading into the Quebec meeting between the U.S. and its allies in the G-7. Friday’s moves left the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.30%

 up by 2.8% last week, and allowed the S&P 500

SPX, +0.31%

 to rise 1.6% and the Nasdaq

COMP, +0.14%

 to gain 1.2% on a weekly basis.

What’s driving the market?

The weekend saw a fresh escalation of tensions between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The spat erupted after the G-7 meeting in Quebec ended Saturday, with Trump withdrawing his support for the group’s communiqué after Trudeau criticized U.S. tariffs on Canadian metals.

But, so far, “markets have proved remarkably sanguine about the threat of a global trade war and the dramatic events this weekend don’t seem to have changed that stance, with equity markets dismissing the potential threats,” said Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, in a note early Monday.

Hostilities between Trump and the leaders of two close allies — Canada and France — had intensified ahead of the G-7meeting, and Trump continued to take aim at the U.S.’s northern neighbor on Monday.

Meanwhile, top U.S. economic and trade advisers also lashed out at the Canadian prime minister, with Peter Navarro, the White House National Trade Council director, saying that there was “a special place in hell” for Trudeau.

Trump is now in Singapore preparing for Tuesday’s much-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim on Tuesday. The first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader is scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m. Singapore time, or 9 p.m. on Monday Eastern Time.

See: Trump will stand firm on denuclearization at North Korea summit, says Pompeo

Away from international relations, investors will also begin to focus on central bank meetings this week. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates after its two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, while European Central Bank policy makers are expected to announce the timing of a reduction of its crisis-era asset-purchase initiative on Thursday.

Don’t miss: Investors brace for week packed with Fed, ECB and North Korean drama

And read: A pumped-up U.S. economy does have some downsides — here are two of them

What strategists are saying

“Although meetings between world leaders are typically not considered market events and would usually encourage a muted market reaction, this summit risks being viewed differently,” wrote Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy at FXTM, in a note discussing potential winners and losers coming out the meeting.

“Uncertainty over the past year or so around Trump-Kim Jong Un relations was seen as one of the major risks for the financial markets. A reduction of this uncertainty should encourage investors to carry on investing in global stocks” if the meeting ends on a positive note, he said. But “depending on the extent to which the summit might go down an undesirable path, there is the likelihood of investors entering a ‘risk-off’ mode if negative headlines overshadow the meeting,” he added.

Stock movers

Shares of Envision Healthcare Corp.

EVHC, +1.56%

 climbed 3% premarket after reports that KKR & Co.

KKR, +2.22%

 is nearing a deal to buy the provider of physician services for around $5.5 billion.

Also from the M&A front, privately held Mars Inc. said it’s buying AniCura in a deal that values AniCura at close to €2 billion ($2.36 billion) including debt, allowing Mars to push further into the lucrative business of pet care.

What is ahead in economic data?

Monday’s only scheduled top-tier data is a survey of consumer expectations, due at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

How are other markets performing?

Asian markets saw a cautious day of trade, while European stocks

SXXP, +0.38%

 rose, led by a rally in Italian stocks

I945, +2.30%

after Italy’s economy minister said the country’s new government is committed to sticking with the euro.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index

DXY, -0.03%

was fractionally higher at 93.630, while the U.K. pound

GBPUSD, -0.2535%

 fell to $1.3357 after downbeat factory data.

In oil, West Texas Intermediate crude for July

CLN8, -1.06%

 fell 1% to $65.04 a barrel, and August gold

GCQ8, +0.01%

 was off 0.2% at $1,300.30 an ounce.

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