Wednesday February 6th


Dow futures point lower after Trump’s State of the Union address

U.S. stock index futures were little changed Wednesday after President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address. At around 8:47 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a negative open of more than 15 points. Futures for both the S&P 500 also pointed to a muted open. Markets focused on Trump’s address Tuesday as he vowed to build a wall that’s the source of a deep partisan divide. Democrats did not yield to Trump’s demand to fund the barrier, leading to a 35-day partial government shutdown during December and January. The Federal Reserve’s Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday evening. The U.S. central bank chairman is expected to deliver opening remarks and answer questions on monetary policy at a town hall meeting with teachers. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman for supervision is also expected to speak shortly after the closing bell. Randal Quarles, who oversees the nation’s banking industry, is poised to deliver remarks on stress testing at a reception in New York. Asia shares mostly rose Wednesday as investors digested U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.14 percent to close at 20,874.06 while the Topix index slipped 0.05 percent to 1,582.13. The session in Asia followed gains on Wall Street overnight as other major markets in the region remained closed for public holidays. Oil dipped on Wednesday after a report showed a rise in U.S. crude inventories, while concerns about the impact on global supplies of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela faded. U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels last week, according to industry group the American Petroleum Institute, and gasoline stocks also increased. The government’s official supply report due later on Wednesday. “The fact that U.S. crude oil and gasoline stocks rose more sharply than expected, as reported by the API after close of trading yesterday, is weighing on prices,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank. Benchmark Brent crude had slipped 11 cents to $61.87 a barrel around 8:20 a.m. ET (1320 GMT), after rallying about 15 percent in January. U.S. crude was down 14 cents at $53.52. Gold prices held firm on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump in his State of the Union speech vowed to build a border wall and gave little clarity over the ongoing trade discussions with China, with the bullion’s gains offset by a firmer dollar. Spot gold was steady at $1,314.52 per ounce as of 8:50 a.m. EST.