Tuesday November 28th


US futures rise slightly ahead of open, as investors await data

U.S. stocks futures pointed to a slightly higher open Tuesday as investors looked ahead to key economic data releases. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 36 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3 points and 8.25 points, respectively. A slew of data releases are set to keep investors on their feet. First off, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index data are due at 9 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m. ET, consumer confidence and the Richmond Fed survey of manufacturing activity are due out, which will then be followed by the Dallas Fed's Texas services sector outlook survey at 10:30 a.m. ET. On the earnings front, Momo, Autodesk and Pure Storage are some of the companies set to publish their latest financial figures. Looking to the U.S. central bank, two speeches by the U.S. Federal Reserve are set to take place. New York Fed President William Dudley is expected to be in New York at the third annual conference on evolving structure of the U.S. Treasury market. The Senate is due to vote on a bill aimed at reforming the U.S. tax code on Thursday. Investors have been eagerly awaiting tax reform since the election in 2016, yet doubts over whether the Republican-led Congress could achieve this before the year is out continues to weigh on sentiment. If the Senate bill is approved, then a joint bill with the House would have to be created. The House passed a bill on a few weeks back to cut taxes on businesses and individuals, but it differs from the Senate bill in some key areas. Aside from tax reform, retailers have been front and center for markets as of late, as investors bet on strong sales during this year's holiday season. Consequently, U.S. retailers finished higher Monday, while the broader market finished relatively mixed yet flat. Looking to markets in other regions, trade in Europe ticked higher on Tuesday, while markets in Asia finished the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.04 percent below the flat line at 22,486.24 after a choppy session. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi rose 0.25 percent to close at 2,514.19 despite some tech stocks extending Monday's declines. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index came under slight pressure, trading 0.31 percent lower by 3:19 p.m. HK/SIN. Mainland markets, meanwhile, bounced back after coming under pressure in the past few sessions. The Shanghai Composite finished the session 0.34 percent higher at 3,333.66. The Shenzhen Composite rose 1.35 percent to end at 1,918.32, breaking a three-day losing streak. Oil prices fell on Tuesday on uncertainty over the outcome of a key OPEC meeting this week due to decide on production policy for the next year. Brent crude oil was down 49 cents a barrel at $63.35 a barrel by 7:53 a.m. ET (1253 GMT). U.S. light crude fell 40 cents lower at $57.71, after falling 1.4 percent in the last session. Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other key producers, including Russia, meet on Nov. 30 to discuss whether to continue to limit production in an effort to drain global inventories to help push up prices. Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday but held not far off a six-week high hit in the previous session, as investors awaited a confirmation hearing for U.S. Federal Reserve chair nominee Jerome Powell and a possible Senate vote on U.S. tax reforms. Spot gold was flat at $1,294.71 an ounce. In the previous session, the metal touched a high of $1,299.13 an ounce, its highest since Oct. 16. U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,294.50.