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US futures are rising as traders assess the risk of escalation in the Middle East

An anti-missile system goes into effect after Iran launches drones and missiles towards Israel, seen from Ashkelon, Israel on April 14, 2024.Amir Cohen via Reuters

  • U.S. futures rose before the bell as investors look ahead to an uncertain week.

  • Brent Crude oil and gold prices fell after a late week surge triggered by expectations of Iranian attacks on Israel.

  • Goldman Sachs will announce its first quarter results on Monday.

US stocks rose ahead of Monday’s opening bell as investors cautiously await Israel’s response to Iran’s missile attack this weekend.

S&P 500 futures were up 0.51% and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.54% shortly after 5 a.m. ET. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.32%, recouping some of the losses from the previous week, when the Dow Jones fell 475 points – its worst week of the year so far.

Brent crude oil prices fell 0.92% before the bell, but were still trading around $90. Oil prices rose to a peak of more than $92 a barrel on Friday as reports emerged that Israel was bracing for a possible direct attack from Iran. Prices fell over the weekend as Israel fended off Iranian missile and drone attacks.

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In light of last weekend’s news, gold continues to prove its worth as a safe haven amid geopolitical uncertainty, with prices remaining near record highs. Although gold prices fell 0.24% Monday morning, the metal is still trading above $2,300 an ounce.

Bitcoin fell sharply over the weekend but recovered Monday morning, rising 3.5%.

Markets have remained steady following calls for restraint from world leaders and a statement from President Joe Biden indicating the US would not participate in a counterattack on Iran.

But developments in the Middle East will remain the main focus for investors this week. If the conflict intensifies, rising oil prices could increase inflationary pressures, while the geopolitical shock could hurt economic growth. However, some analysts said the developments could also hasten a rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

“As investors brace for further conflict amid the tragic events unfolding, it is still important to focus on the longer term rather than short-term uncertainty. The shock of the conflict is devastating, but history does point to relatively short-lived volatility in financial markets. Susannah Streeter of Hargreaves Lansdown said in a morning note.

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Goldman Sachs will report earnings Monday morning and retail sales for the past month will be released.

Later this week, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Blackstone will report quarterly earnings, and policy makers including Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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