U.S. stock futures were slightly higher Tuesday, boosted by a drop in Treasury yields as Wall Street assessed the geopolitical risks of a protracted conflict from the Israel-Hamas war. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 64 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures added less than 0.1%. The decline in yields gave stock futures a lift, as Wall Street remains concerned over the recent quick rise in interest rates. Investors may also be looking past the geopolitical risks caused by the conflict, helped by Friday’s stronger-than-expected September payrolls report and optimism ahead of a slew of third-quarter earnings this week. PepsiCo shares rose about 1.8% in the premarket after the beverage and snack maker reported better-than-expected third-quarter results. The company also raised its earnings outlook. Hamas’ attack against Israel marks the deadliest offensive in 50 years. At least 900 people in Israel have been killed thus far in what Hamas is calling Operation Al Aqsa Flood, with more than 687 people in Gaza and the West Bank dead in retaliatory Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, according to the latest figures. Hamas is a designated terrorist group backed by Iran that has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007. “It’s a really challenging to want to be an equity investor and U.S. stocks right now,” Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor told CNBC on Tuesday. “You’ve got the geopolitical uncertainty… the United States is probably in its weakest fiscal position since certainly World War II with debt to GDP at 122%.” During Monday’s trading session, stocks were initially lower—with the Nasdaq falling more than 1% during its session lows—before turning positive across the board. The 30-stock Dow added 197 points, or 0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%. The S&P 500 added 0.6%. U.S. Treasury yields fell on Tuesday as trading resumed after Columbus Day, with investors weighing the potential geopolitical and economic impact of the Israel-Hamas war. At 4:31 a.m. ET, the 2-year Treasury yield was down by over nine basis points to 4.9843%. The 10-year Treasury yield was last more than 12 basis points lower at 4.6571%. Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as investors assessed the market impact of the attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped over 2.4%, leading gains in the region as the country comes back from a public holiday, with the Topix also gaining 2.09%. The indexes ended the day at 31,746.53 and 2,312.19 respectively. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.01% and closed at 7,040.6, extending gains from Monday and moving above the 7,000 mark. South Korea’s Kospi reversed earlier gains to fall 0.26% and finish at 2,402.58, hitting its lowest level since March 21,while the Kosdaq tumbled 2.62% to its lowest level since March 16, closing at 795. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.84% in its final hour, while mainland Chinese markets were in negative territory, with the CSI 300 falling 0.75% to 3,657.13, notching a three-day losing streak. Hong Kong experienced a shortened trading day of just two hours Monday after the city canceled its morning session due to a typhoon warning. Oil prices eased on Tuesday after rallying more than 4% in the previous session, with traders cautious as they watched for potential supply disruptions amid military clashes between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. Brent crude fell 9 cents to $88.06 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude eased 7 cents to $86.31 a barrel. Both benchmarks had fallen by more than $1 in earlier trading before recovering slightly. Brent and WTI had surged more than $3.50 on Monday as the clashes raised fears that the conflict could spread beyond Gaza into the oil-rich region. Gold prices continued to rise on Tuesday, a day after posting sharp gains on increased market uncertainty due to conflict in the Middle East, as dovish remarks from top U.S. Federal Reserve officials weighed on the dollar and bond yields. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.4% to $1,871.90. Gold futures rose 1% on Monday as military clashes between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas boosted demand for safe-haven assets and oil.
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