Stock futures bouce back as small-time traders pile into silver By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Trader Frank Masiello talks on his phone on Wall St. outside the NYSE in New York

By Devik Jain and Medha Singh

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures bounced 1% on Monday following a steep sell-off on Wall Street last week, as a shift in the retail trading frenzy to silver drove up mining stocks and investors awaited manufacturing data later in the day.

The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:) ETF jumped 9% in premarket trading as silver broke above $30 an ounce for the first time since 2013 with an army of retail traders storming into the metal after betting billions of dollars on stocks last week.

Silver miners Hecla Mining Co, Coeur Mining (NYSE:) Inc and Wheaton Precious Metals (NYSE:) Corp surged between 12% and 21%.

Wall Street’s main indexes last week logged their steepest weekly fall since October, as investors digested the efficacy data from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:)’s COVID-19 vaccine trial results, while a slugfest between Wall Street hedge funds and retail investors added to volatility.

The CBOE volatility index slipped about 2 points on Monday after hitting its highest since October as a surge in GameStop Corp (NYSE:) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:) Holdings and others burnt hedge funds who had bet against the company and roiled the broader market.

The meme stocks dominated news on Wall Street last week, even as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) and other corporate heavyweights reported quarterly results.

Focus now turns towards quarterly earnings from Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) and Google-owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc on Tuesday to wrap up results from the so-called FAANG group.

At 6:55 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 233 points, or 0.78% and E-minis were up 37.75 points, or 1.02%. E-minis were up 135.75 points, or 1.05%.

Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:) and Chevron Corp (NYSE:) rose about 2% each as sources said the chief executives of the two largest U.S. oil producers held preliminary talks in early 2020 to explore a merger. The discussions are no longer active.

Videogame retailer GameStop and movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings added about 6% and 23% on Monday on top of their gains of nearly 400% and 278% respectively last week.

On the data front, investors awaited to a reading on ISM’s manufacturing index, which is expected to tick lower in January after accelerating to its highest level in nearly 2-1/2 years in December.

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