Tuesday August 1st


US futures jump as Wall Street kicks off August on a high note

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday as a new month of trading kicked off. Dow futures rose 93 points, putting the 30-stock index ever closer to the elusive 22,000 milestone. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures, meanwhile, rose 5 points and 15.75 points, resectively. Tuesday is the first trading day of August. The major indexes posted sharp gains for the month of July. The Dow rose 2.54 percent in the period, marking its best one-month performance since February. Shares of Boeing contributed the lions share of the gains, adding more than 300 points to the index. The S&P 500 also posted its best monthly gain since February last month, advancing 1.93 percent as all 11 sectors were positive in July. The Nasdaq composite outperformed last month, gaining 3.38 percent. The three major indexes also notched multiple record highs last month as Wall Street reacted positively to strong quarterly reports from major companies. Seventy-three percent of the S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Friday had topped estimates on both the top and bottom lines, according to data from FactSet. On Tuesday, most of the trading day will once again be dominated by earnings. Under Armour was among the companies that reported before the bell, posting a smaller-than-expected loss. Herbalife and Valvoline will report after the bell, but Apple earnings are key for the market. Investors will also be watching out for key economic data, including manufacturing PMI data at 9:45 a.m., and construction spending figures due at 10 a.m. U.S. personal income for June remained unchanged, below an expected increase of 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, the White House is once again on the radar after the recently appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci was fired on Monday. He was in the position for 10 days. The dollar skidded to a six-week low versus the yen, its outlook clouded by U.S. political turmoil and doubts over whether there will be another Federal Reserve rate hike this year. The dollar slipped to a low of 110.005 yen at one point, its lowest level since June 15. The greenback was last trading at 110.20 yen, down about 0.1 percent on the day. Greater political uncertainty stateside weighed on the dollar as Asian markets digested stronger-than-expected China Caixin manufacturing PMI released Tuesday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent, or 60.61 points, to close at 19,985.79. South Korea's Kospi added 0.84 percent, or 20.25 points, to finish the session at 2,422.96. The index was driven by a bounce in manufacturing stocks. Market movers included Samsung Heavy rising 4.02 percent and Lotte Chemical gaining 3.12 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.69 percent by 3:32 p.m. HK/SIN. Major indexes on the mainland closed higher after the release of private sector manufacturing PMI earlier in the session. The Shanghai Composite advanced 0.59 percent, or 19.2564 points, to close at 3,292.2847 and the Shenzhen Composite edged up 0.179 percent, or 3.3720 points, to end at 1,882.4679. Oil prices slipped from more than two-month highs on Tuesday as ample global supplies countered strong demand and forecasts of another drop in U.S. crude inventories. U.S. inventory reports due on Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to show crude stocks fell by 2.9 million barrels last week, the fifth straight week of declines. But OPEC production rose in July, a Reuters survey found, despite a deal to cut output. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were trading down 49 cents at $52.23 per barrel by 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), slipping from a nearly 10-month high just below $53 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 41 cents to $49.76 per barrel. The contract also hit a nearly 10-week high at $50.43 earlier in the session, after breaking above the key $50 level for the first time in two months on Monday. Gold prices edged down from the highest levels in almost seven weeks on Tuesday as the dollar rose and investors locked in profits from bullion's rally last month. Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent to $1,267.52 per ounce. It rose 2.2 percent last month, its biggest monthly gain since February. U.S. gold futures for August were unchanged at $1,266.60 per ounce.