Tuesday April 2nd


Stocks set for muted open after Monday's rally

U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday as investors digested a strong rally from the previous session. As of 8 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 3 points higher, indicating a decline of 7 points at the open, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes also pointed to a flat open. The muted moves come after strong manufacturing data out of the U.S. and China raised sentiment during Monday's session, with the Dow closing above 26,000 points for the first time since Feb. 26. U.S. manufacturing activity expanded last month, data showed, rebounding from its lowest level since late 2016. A separate survey showed China's factory activity also rebounded, expanding at its fastest pace in eight months. Orders for durable or long-lasting goods fell in February for the first time in four months and business investment continued to soften, reflecting a slower U.S. economy early in the new year. Durable-goods orders sank 1.6%, largely because of fewer bookings for commercial aircraft and defense-related hardware, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 2.1% decline. Stripping out transportation, orders rose a scant 0.1%. Transportation often exaggerates the ups and downs in orders because of lumpy demand from one month to the next. A sharp decline in Walgreens Boots Alliance also kept stock futures in check. Shares of the Dow member fell 8 percent in the premarket on weaker-than-expected earnings. Walgreens also lowered its earnings forecast for 2019. Major Asia Pacific markets made gains by market close on Tuesday following overnight advances on Wall Street, as concerns over a possible global economic slowdown eased. The Shanghai composite was up 0.2 percent to close at 3,176.82, while the Shenzhen composite rose 0.11 percent to finish at 1,757.60. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index bounced back slightly to rise 0.11 percent. The Nikkei 225 in Japan traded nearly flat to close at 21,505.31 while the Topix index was down 0.25 percent, closing at 1,611.69. In South Korea, the Kospi index rose 0.41 percent to finish at 2,177.18. Oil hit a 2019 high above $69 a barrel on Tuesday on the prospect that more sanctions against Iran and further Venezuelan disruptions could deepen an OPEC-led supply cut, and as the market became less worried that demand may slow. The United States is considering more sanctions against Iran, whose oil exports have been halved by existing measures, an official said. A key crude terminal in Venezuela, also under U.S. sanctions, has halted operations again. Brent crude touched $69.50, the highest since mid-November, and at was down 2 cents at $68.99 a barrel. U.S. crude was up 43 cents at $62.02, rising above $62 for the first time since early November. Gold prices steadied near their lowest in about four-weeks on Tuesday as robust economic data from the United States and China tempered concerns of a global slowdown, boosting the dollar and riskier assets. Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,288.53 per ounce, having touched its lowest since March 7 at $1,284.76 earlier. U.S. gold futures fell about 0.2 percent to $1,292.30 an ounce. Stocks set for muted open after Monday's rally.