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US Stocks: Wall Street Set to Open Higher on Oil, China Stimulus

  • Reuters

Traders gather at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Feb. 26, 2016.

Traders gather at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Feb. 26, 2016.

Wall Street was set to open higher as oil prices rose and after China resumed its monetary easing policy to spur its slowing economy.

Crude prices rose more than 1 percent after Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to limit oil market volatility.

"Investors are stepping back to try and assess where global growth is going to be ... as well as monetary policies going forward," said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.

China's central bank on Monday cut its reserve requirement ratio, or the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, for the fifth time in a year..

At 8:58 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 20 points, or 0.12 percent, with 45,921 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.25 points, or 0.17 percent, with 323,307 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 2.5 points, or 0.06 percent, on volume of 45,265 contracts.

Wall Street closed lower on Friday, after a rally earlier in the week lost steam. Up to Friday's close, the index was down 4.7 percent this year.

Still, the index closed above its 50-day moving average, which some traders say is a sign of improving sentiment.

The S&P 500 is poised to snap a two-month losing streak and end with a meager gain in February, after recovering from one of its worst starts to a year.

Strong data, including improving consumer spending trends, released last week suggested the U.S. economy was recovering better than expected.

Federal funds futures implied traders see a 38 percent chance of the Fed raising rates in June and a 57 percent chance in December, according to CME Group's FedWatch program.

New York Fed President William Dudley is slated to speak on policy at a banking conference in China.

Shares of Valeant were down 5.3 percent at $76.35 premarket after the Canadian drugmaker said its chief executive would return from medical leave, and it delayed the release of its quarterly results.