Stocks ready for post-holiday bump
Futures turn higher as Dubai crisis eases. Modest holiday sales could push Wall Street up at the opening bell.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks were set to open modestly higher Monday as fears eased over the Dubai debt shakeup and despite early reports of tepid holiday sales figures for the Thanksgiving weekend.
Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq-100 and S&P 500 futures were modestly higher. Futures measure current index values against their perceived future performance, though they're not always an accurate forecast of stock activity after the opening bell.
Friday's big selloff, triggered by the Dubai debt crisis, pushed the three leading stock indexes down slightly for the week.
Dubai: The United Arab Emirates said Sunday it would guarantee banks in Dubai, where a crisis has emerged concerning efforts to delay payments on nearly $60 billion in debt.
The Dubai situation led to a global selloff late last week. While markets in the region were down sharply Monday, the first trading day after a 4-day holiday, Asian markets rebounded. Tokyo's Nikkei index gained nearly 3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rallied 3-1/4%.(Dubai stocks plummet)
European markets, which steadied Friday in the wake of the Dubai crisis, were lower in afternoon trading Monday.
"We're seeing a much more muted response to what's going on in Dubai," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co.
Retail: Initial results for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend indicate that the average shopper was spending less at the nation's stores.
In a report issued Sunday, the National Retail Federation said the average shopper spent $343.31 over the holiday weekend, down from $372.57 last year. Overall sales rose to $41.2 billion from $41 billion, with the number of shoppers climbing to 195 million from 172 million over the four-day span.
Hogan noted that despite the lower per-shopper spending, retailers spent less money promoting sales this year.
"They'll be more profitable," he said. "Right now, things are looking much better on a year-over-year basis."
Merchants were hoping to do a little better Monday, a day called Cyber Monday, when shoppers take to the Internet at home and at work. (Cyber Monday: Hope for disappointed stores).
Other markets: The dollar, which had rebounded off recent lows last week as a safe haven in the Dubai debt crisis, retreated early Monday against the euro, yen and U.K. pound.