Stock futures were near flat Tuesday as investors looked to the final days of what’s been a difficult August for the market. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 42 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.1% while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.2%. The moves follow a winning day on Wall Street, a rarity in recent weeks. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively. The Dow finished more than 200 points higher, which equates to a gain of about 0.6%. 3M helped the blue-chip average in the session, rallying more than 5% a day after Bloomberg News cited sources saying the conglomerate was ready to settle lawsuits that alleged some of its earplugs were faulty. But Monday’s leg up can be characterized as a respite from what’s shaping up to be a tough month for stocks. With just three sessions left in August’s trading month, the Dow is on pace to finish 2.8% lower. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are poised for losses of 3.4% and 4.5%, respectively. “It’s a lot of digestion right now as we pulled back a little bit off the year-to-date highs,” said Chris Barto, an investment analyst at Fort Pitt Capital. Traders are “getting back to their desks from summer and looking at their portfolios and reallocating towards the end of the month.” Investors will watch for earnings from companies including Best Buy and Nio before the bell Tuesday, followed by HP after the close. Data on home prices, job openings and consumer confidence will also be due Tuesday morning. U.S. Treasury yields declined on Tuesday as investors awaited key economic data slated for the week that will provide fresh insights into the state of the economy, including the labor market. At 7:50 am ET, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was flat at 4.211%. The 2-year Treasury yield was last trading at 5.001% after falling by 3.8 basis points. Asia-Pacific markets rose across the board as Wall Street came off a winning day on Monday. Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese stocks led gains in Asia, extending their Monday gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed about 2% in its final hour, while on mainland China, the CSI 300 advanced 1% and ended at 3,790.11. Notably, the Shenzhen Component finished the day 2.17% up at 10,454.98, powered by tech stocks. Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.18% after leading gains in Asia on Monday, closing at 32,226.97, while the Topix was up 0.16% to end at 2,303.41. The country’s unemployment rate for July also came in higher than expected, at 2.7% compared with the 2.5% expected in a Reuters poll. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.71% to finish at 7,210.5, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.34% to close at 2,552.16 and the Kosdaq finished 0.75% higher at 916.24. Oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday as investors weighed the enduring possibility of another U.S. interest rate hike undercutting demand against supply concerns emanating from a hurricane hurtling towards the U.S. gulf coast. Brent crude edged 62 cents higher at $85.05 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ticked up 60 cents to $80.70 a barrel. Gold prices gained on Tuesday as a recent rally in the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields showed signs of fatigue ahead of crucial inflation and jobs data this week that could define the outlook for interest rates. Spot gold climbed 0.2% to $1,923.20 per ounce, hovering close to its highest level since Aug. 10 reached on Monday. U.S. gold futures gained 0.2% to $1,951.50.
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