U.S. stock index futures traded marginally higher on Tuesday as traders await Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s latest comments on the state of the economy. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded flat. S&P 500 futures gained 0.1%, while Nasdaq-100 futures added 0.2%. Dick’s Sporting Goods shares popped in premarket trading on a strong holiday quarter. WW International, also known as WeightWatchers, leapt 14% as it shared plans to acquire Sequence, a subscription telehealth platform with a focus on chronic weight management. The major averages are coming off a session that featured mild gains. The Dow on Monday advanced 0.1%, along with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Stocks were higher to start the day after Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of Apple with a buy rating, lifting both the iPhone maker and the broader market. Apple makes up about 7% of the S&P 500. Other mega-cap tech stocks such as Alphabet and Microsoft also advanced. However, the major averages gave up most of those gains following a slight rise in bond yields. Investors have been troubled by moves in the bond market after the 10-year Treasury yield recently topped a key 4% threshold. “It really just felt like back to kind of those 2020 days where a handful of the FANG names were doing a lot of the heavy lifting, and to us, that suggests this rally is feeling a bit on its last legs,” BTIG’s Jonathan Krinsky said Monday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” On deck Tuesday and Wednesday is congressional testimony from Fed Chair Powell, who will give remarks on where he sees the U.S. economy — and what he expects for interest rates to go from here. January wholesale inventories data is set to release Tuesday after the opening bell, giving investors insight into the consumer economy. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect a decline of 0.4%, compared to a rise of 0.1% in the prior reading. Consumer credit data expected Tuesday afternoon is forecasted to show a rise of $22 billion in January, according to consensus estimates from Dow Jones. That would follow a $11.6 billion increase the prior month. Asia-Pacific shares were mixed as traders looked ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, which will inform the central bank’s next moves on its rate-hiking decision. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.49% higher to end at 7,364.7. The RBA raised its overnight cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.6%, which would mark the highest rate since June 2012. The country also posted a narrow trade surplus for January, according to official data. Japan’s Nikkei 225′s rose 0.25% to 28,309.16 while the Topix added 0.40% to close at 2,044.98. South Korea’s Kospi inched up fractionally to 2,463.35 while the Kosdaq slipped 0.09% to 815.76. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index traded 0.66% lower. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite lost 1.11% while the Shenzhen Component was down 1.978%. Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday after five sessions of gains, with weak oil data from top crude importer China balanced by concern over supply. Brent crude futures fell 22 cents, or 0.26%, to $85.96 a barrel by 1043 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 16 cents, or 0.2%, at $80.30. Gold prices retreated on Monday from an earlier 2½-week high as traders awaited U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony this week for hints on future rate hikes. Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,843.10 per ounce after hitting its highest since Feb. 15 at $1,858.19. U.S. gold futures edged down 0.3% to $1,848.40.
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