Tuesday December 5th

5-12-2017

Wall Street set for a higher open as data, earnings take center stage; US tax plan in focus

U.S. stocks futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, as investors turned their attention to new data and earnings, while keeping an eye on key domestic news. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 71 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 5 points and 4.5 points, respectively. In the previous session, the Dow Jones industrial average secured another record closing high as investors cheered on news that the Senate narrowly passed a major tax bill over the weekend. Despite the Dow rising more than 300 points during trade before closing up 58 points, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite failed to follow suit, closing lower as a drop in tech stocks weighed on sentiment. When it comes to today's session, investors are likely to be paying close attention to the latest in economic data and corporate news. On the data front, the U.S. international trade deficit totaled $48.7 billion in October.Services PMI (purchasing managers' index) data are also due at 9:45 a.m. ET, and then the non-manufacturing ISM report on business and the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) at 10 a.m. ET. In earnings, AutoZone posted stronger-than-expected earnings, sending its stock higher. Meanwhile, Toll Brothers' stock slipped on weaker-than-forecast quarterly results. Elsewhere in corporate news, Bloomberg reported that Bank of America plans to buy back an added $5 billion in stock. Bank of America shares jumped 1 percent in the premarket following the report. The Senate committee on banking, housing and urban affairs will meet in executive session to consider the nomination of Jerome Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Aside from tax reform and ongoing rumblings surrounding the current U.S. administration's relationship to Russia, other news set to shake up sentiment Tuesday concerns news made by the Supreme Court. On Monday, the court allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the U.S. for residents of six mostly-Muslim countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. In commodities, oil prices came under slight pressure ahead of key crude inventories data from the U.S., as investors considered the impact rising U.S. crude production could have on the market. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 11 cents at $62.34 a barrel by 0950 GMT. U.S. crude, known as West Texas Intermediate, was down 20 cents at $57.27. Looking to markets in other regions, European shares dipped slightly lower, while markets in Asia finished Tuesday on a mixed to lower note. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 84.78 points, or 0.37 percent, to 22,622.38. The Topix index turned positive and added 4.1 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,790.97. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi gained 8.45 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,510.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.53 percent in afternoon trade. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai composite finished down 6.57 points, or 0.2 percent, at 3,303.04 while the Shenzhen composite fell 35.92 points, or 1.88 percent, to 1,866.98. Gold steadied on Tuesday above $1,275 an ounce as the dollar stabilised versus a currency basket, with the metal still hemmed within this quarter's narrow price range ahead of fresh signals on U.S. tax reform. Spot gold was at $1,272.98 an ounce, little changed from $1,275.91 late on Monday. U.S. gold futures for February delivery were down 0.17 percent at $1,275.50.