Dow futures gain as stocks try to keep comeback from bear market lows going

U.S. stock futures rose on Monday morning following a major rebound last week from this year’s steep declines. Despite the bounce, Wall Street is preparing to wrap up the worst first half for stocks in decades.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.3%, or 81 points. S&P 500 futures gained 0.4%, and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.5%.

Those moves followed a major comeback week that saw the Dow industrials jump more than 800 points, or 2.7%. The S&P 500 popped 3.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite surged 3.3%.

Those gains helped the major averages post their first positive week since May. The Dow climbed 5.4% last week. The S&P 500 increased 6.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 7.5%.

The S&P 500 is up 7.5% since hitting a bear-market low in mid-June, although the benchmark is still off 19% from its high and 18% since the year began.

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Market participants continued to assess whether stocks have found a bottom, or are instead just briefly rebounding from oversold conditions. Stocks could continue to get a lift in the near term this week, as investors rebalance their holdings for the quarter-end.

“In a sense, the equity market is likely to be… in a go-nowhere-fast mode for the foreseeable future,” Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told CNBC on Friday.

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“Inflation is running hot, sentiment is subdued, liquidity is evaporating, and earnings are both a bright spot and a wildcard. So, in aggregate, to us, that implies that we’re probably in a sideways trending mode for a while,” Sandven added.

On the economic front, Wall Street is expecting the latest reading of durable goods orders to come out Monday before the bell.

Traders are also watching for the pending home sales report, which is expected at 10 a.m. ET on Monday.