Tuesday September 24th


Stocks set to rise as optimism around US-China trade increases

U.S. stock index futures were higher Tuesday morning as hope around U.S.-China trade talks increased. Around 7:25 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 88 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also pointed to solid gains. Bloomberg News reported China granted new waivers to several companies exempting them from tariffs on at least 2 million tons of U.S. soybeans. The report added some companies have already bought about 1.2 million tons of soybeans. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also confirmed trade talks between the world’s two largest economies would resume next month. In an interview with Fox Business Network, Mnuchin said negotiators from the U.S. and China had made some progress in last week’s deputy-level meetings. The dispute between Washington and Beijing has dragged on for well over a year, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment. Apple, which has large exposure to the Chinese market, rose 0.9% in the premarket. Caterpillar and Boeing, two trade bellwethers, gained 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. On the data front, Philadelphia Fed nonmanufacturing figures for September will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET. The S&P/Case-Shiller’s home price index for July, consumer confidence data for September and Richmond Fed surveys will all follow slightly later in the session. In corporate news, Autozone, Carmax, and BlackBerry are among some of the companies set to publish their latest earnings before the opening bell. Nike, Cintas, and Synnex are set to release their latest quarterly results after market close. Stocks in Asia struggled for direction on Tuesday as weak economic data in Europe fueled fears of slowing growth and weighed on investor sentiment. Shares on mainland China edged up on the day, with the Shanghai composite adding 0.28% to about 2,985.34 and the Shenzhen component gaining 0.31% to 9,811.38. The Shenzhen composite also rose 0.331% to approximately 1,665.56. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.24%, as of its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed fractionally higher at 22,098.84 despite shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing and Softbank Group declining 1.16% and 1.82%, respectively. The Topix index also gained 0.42% to end its trading day at 1,622.94. Over in South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.45% higher at 2,101.04. Oil prices fell on Tuesday after weak manufacturing data from Europe and Japan focused market attention on a gloomy outlook for demand and as Saudi Arabia was expected to restore oil output faster than anticipated following attacks last week. Brent crude futures dropped 53 cents to $64.24 a barrel by 0859 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were at $58.18, down 46 cents. Gold was little changed on Tuesday, hovering near the two-week peak hit in the previous session on global growth concerns, though further talks in the U.S.-China trade dispute could yet dent appeal for the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was steady at $1,520.84 an ounce, having hit its highest since Sept. 6 at $1,526.80 on Monday. U.S. gold futures were down 0.2% at $1,528.10.