Wednesday November 25th


Futures hold higher amid data dump

U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open Wednesday, the last full trading day of the week, as investors eyed a slew of economic data ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, while geopolitical tensions remained in focus. Markets are shut Thursday for Thanksgiving and the stock market closes at 1 p.m. EST on Friday. Futures held earlier gains amid the durable goods and personal spending reports, with the Dow futures up about 40 points as of 8:57 a.m., ET. The durable goods report showed a rise of 3.0 percent in October. Non-defense, ex-aircraft capital goods orders soundly topped expectations with a rise of 1.3 percent after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent gain in September. Weekly jobless claims came in at 260,000. October U.S. personal spending rose 0.1 percent, while personal income rose 0.4 percent. In the 12 months through October, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index was up 0.2 percent after a similar rise in September, Reuters said. PCE deflator in the personal income and spending report is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge. Economists polled by Reuters expect a monthly rise of 0.1 percent for October. The dollar continued to trade about half a percent higher against major world currencies, with the euro below $1.06. Treasury yields edged higher, with the 2-year yield near 0.95 percent and the 10-year yield at 2.25 percent. Oil will also remain in focus with crude and natural gas inventories both due Wednesday. Crude oil futures dipped on Wednesday as investors took profits after prices rallied to two-week highs in the previous session on mounting geopolitical tension in the Middle East as Turkey downed a Russian warplane. Brent fell about 85 cents to $45.27 a barrel on Wednesday. It settled up $1.29, or 2.9 percent, at $46.12 a barrel on Tuesday, after hitting a two-week high at $46.50. U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures lost 75 cents to $42.12 a barrel. Data on the housing market include weekly mortgage applications, the FHFA home price index at 9 a.m. and new home sales at 10 a.m. Traders will also get another look at the consumer with the University of Michigan's final read on November consumer sentiment due at 10 a.m. On Tuesday, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index missed estimates and declined for a second straight month in November to 90.4. In bond markets, the Treasury is scheduled to hold a seven-year note auction Wednesday. On the earnings front, Deere reported before the bell. In Europe, equities traded higher Wednesday, despite rising geopolitical tensions between Russia and NATO member Turkey. While fresh geopolitical fears after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane sent most Asian equities lower, oil prices and some energy plays saw gains. The Nikkei 225 shed the previous session's gains, closing down 0.4 percent, with sentiment dampened by minutes of the Bank of Japan's October 30 meeting, in which members said the Japanese economy was likely to grow at a slower pace in 2017 due to sales tax hikes. Gold edged down on Wednesday on a rebounding dollar and expectations of a U.S. rate hike next month, but the downside was capped by retail demand emerging on tension between Turkey and Russia. The tensions initially triggered a sell-off in equities and the dollar, while boosting safe-haven yen, gold and government debt. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,073.10 an ounce. U.S. gold was unchanged on the day after a near 1 percent gain in the previous session.