US stock futures are firmly higher as we await the market open after the long weekend.
Near 7:30 a.m. ET, the three big indexes were up about 1.7%, with Dow futures gaining about 270 points pre-market.
It’s a rebound from a sharp dip on Friday that pushed stocks to record the worst 10-day start to a year ever, as the Dow closed down nearly 3% and lost up to 500 points at the worst levels of the trading session.
As for the big themes that markets have been focused on recently:
China unleashed a big dump of economic data last night. The most important was GDP, which grew at 6.9% in 2015, the slowest pace in 25 years and just what the pros expected.
Crude oil was also rallying in early trade, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up about 2%, or 70 cents, to $31.09 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, jumped nearly 5% to $29.94. The rally comes after confirmation over the weekend that economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted, meaning it would soon start exporting oil. This had been anticipated for a while.
On the earnings front, both JP Morgan and Bank of America beat expectations for profits.
And so on Tuesday morning, markets seem to be taking all of this (and much more) in stride to break from the worst start ever to a year.
This weekend, we saw some top strategists all but say that the worst of the recent sell-off is over.
“We are not panicked by this recession because we understand it,” wrote Deutsche Bank’s David Bianco to clients, as he forecast that a 5% leap in the S&P 500 is coming “soon”.
“Buying stocks following spikes in the VIX [the gauge of stock-market volatility] has been a winning strategy over the last 25 years,” wrote RBC Capital Markets’ Jonathan Golub. “A move back to more normal levels of volatility represents 7 — 9% upside for stocks.”
The NAHB Housing Market Index is due at 10:00 a.m. ET. You can preview all the other important data releases in this short week here.
Netflix reports earnings after the closing bell.
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