Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures are lower to start August trading
Stock futures are lower Monday, as Wall Street begins a new month after strong gains in July. All three major U.S. stock indexes recorded their best months of the year. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.1% and 6.7% in July, respectively, their largest monthly advances since November 2020. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed and ended a three-month losing skid. The index rose 12.35% in July for its best month since April 2020, powered by robust gains in the technology sector.
2. Oil prices fall ahead of OPEC+ meeting
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Crude prices dropped Monday, as energy markets digest poor factory data from China and Japan, and prepare for OPEC and its oil-producing allies to decide September output later in the week. West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, traded lower by roughly 1.5% on Monday, while international benchmark Brent crude futures fell around 1.1%. WTI and Brent declined for the second-straight month in July as recession concerns weighed on prices, their first two-month losing streak since October 2020. The group known as OPEC+ is set to meet Wednesday to discuss whether to keep September output plans steady or modestly increase production, according to Reuters.
3. Another busy earnings week is here
It's another crowded week for earnings on Wall Street, after tech heavyweights including Apple and Amazon posted quarterly numbers in recent days. In all, 148 companies in the S&P 500 are expected to release results over the next five days, including Caterpillar, JetBlue and Starbucks on Tuesday, followed by the likes of Yum Brands and Booking Holdings on Wednesday. In addition to the jam-packed earnings slate, July's nonfarm payrolls report is due out Friday morning. Investors are anticipating that key labor market announcement as they look for more insight into the health of the U.S. economy amid recession concerns.
4. Fed official: Inflation matters more than recession declaration
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said Sunday he's focused inflation data — not the squabbling over whether the U.S. economy is in a recession. While that discussion intensified late last week when an advance estimate of second-quarter GDP showed a negative reading, the central bank official told CBS he places a greater emphasis on other economic data right now. "Whether we are technically in a recession or not doesn't change my analysis," Kashkari said in an interview on "Face the Nation." "I'm focused on the inflation data. I'm focused on the wage data. And so far, inflation continues to surprise us to the upside. Wages continue to grow." CNBC's Cameron Albert-Deitch has more on Kashkari's comments here.
5. Google CEO: Employee productivity needs to improve
In a recent all-hands meeting, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees at the tech giant that their productivity needs to improve and asked for their assistance in creating a culture that is "more mission focused," among other things. "It's clear we are facing a challenging macro environment with more uncertainty ahead," Pichai said, adding later: "There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have." Read the full report from CNBC's Jennifer Elias here.
— CNBC's Jennifer Elias, Cameron Albert-Deitch, Patti Domm and Christopher Hayes contributed to this report. Reuters also contributed.