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S&P futures hover at record levels; materials, energy stocks rise

NEW YORK (Reuters): The S&P 500 futures hovered near record highs on Monday as investors awaited economic data this week for more clarity on the pace of economic recovery, while higher commodity prices supported shares of miners, energy and steel companies.

Copper miner Freeport-McMoran (FCX.N) rose 3.5% premarket, while aluminum producer Alcoa (AA.N) gained 3.6% and steelmaker United States Steel Corp (X.N) was up 3.1% as copper prices touched a record high and aluminum scaled a new peak.

Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) firmed about 0.8% after a cyber attack on top US pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline shuttered fuel network that transports nearly half of the East Coast’s supplies, lifting oil prices.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye (FEYE.O) jumped about 6% as industry sources said the company was among those helping Colonial Pipeline to recover from one of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes reported.

The S&P 500 and the Dow ended at record closing highs on Friday as an unexpected slowdown in monthly jobs growth eased inflation worries and fueled bets that the US Federal Reserve would remain accommodative for longer.

With latest economic reports depicting that the US economy is not recovering at the explosive pace as previously forecast, inflation numbers this week and comments from Federal Reserve officials could chart the next course for US equities.

At 6:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 106 points, or 0.31%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.25 points, or 0.08%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 35.5 points, or 0.26%.
The earnings season is in its final stretch with about 87.2% of 439 S&P 500 companies beating estimates for profit, according to Refinitiv data. Analysts expect overall first-quarter earnings to jump 50.4% from a year ago, their strongest growth rate since 2010.