Friday December 1st


Dow futures fall 85 points as tax bill progress stalls

U.S. stocks futures pointed to a lower open Friday, pulling back from the highs seen on Wall Street in the previous session, as progress on a tax bill stalled in the Senate. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 85 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures sliding 12.5 points and 47.75 points, respectively. In the previous session, not only did the Dow Jones industrial average break above 24,000 for the first time, it also soared 331 points. Senate Republicans delayed voting on their tax bill on Thursday. The setback concerned a fiscal "trigger" that forced lawmakers to patch up the plan only hours before a planned final vote. Consequently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that senators would revise the legislation, with the group eyeing a vote to take place Friday. Expectations of lower corporate taxes have been a boon for U.S. stocks since President Donald Trump got elected, helping the major indexes reach all-time highs. Shifting focus, data will also be of key importance on Friday. Manufacturing PMI is due out at 9:45 a.m. ET, followed by Manufacturing ISM report on business and construction spending — both of which are due out at 10 a.m. ET. No major earnings are expected to be released. Elsewhere, oil prices ticked higher after news emerged that OPEC and other major producers such as Russia agreed to extend their production cuts until the end of next year, in a move aimed at tackling the global glut currently shaking up market sentiment. Crude prices traded 0.8 percent higher at $57.88 per barrel. Looking to markets in other regions, trade in Europe came under sharp pressure in early trade, while markets in Asia finished the session relatively mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 retraced early gains of roughly 1 percent to close up 94.07 points, or 0.41 percent, at 22,819.03. The Topix index finished up 4.45 points, or 0.25 percent, at 1,796.53. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi closed fractionally lower at 2,475.41. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gave up early gains to trade down 0.17 percent at 3:13 p.m. HK/SIN. Chinese mainland shares opened with little confidence, but by the afternoon the Shanghai composite closed near flat. The Shenzhen composite, on the other hand, had eked out a gain of 14.94 points, or 0.78 percent, to close at 1,916.8. Gold inched up on Friday as the dollar and stocks fell on a delay to U.S. tax reforms, but it was still on track for a second weekly decline. Spot gold was up 0.04 percent at $1,275.0601 an ounce at 8:10 a.m. ET. On Thursday, it fell 0.7 percent to touch its lowest since Nov. 6 at $1,270.11. The yellow metal is down 0.9 percent this week. U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.07 percent to $1,277.80.