Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Futures slightly higher in muted pre-holiday trading

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Tuesday in light trading as investors appeared to have shrugged off Monday's geopolitical incidents but stayed away from making big bets before the holiday season.

Wall Street extended a recent rally on Monday but finished the session short of earlier highs as risk aversion set in following deadly attacks in Germany and the killing of Russian ambassador to Turkey in Ankara.

"2016 is ending with tragic incidents in Turkey and Germany, but investors have become so fast in digesting bad news, and this explains the resilience in financial markets," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

U.S. stocks have been on a tear since the Nov. 8 presidential election, with the S&P rising nearly 6 percent on bets that President-elect Donald Trump's plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending will boost the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average is less than 1 percent away from 20,000, a level it has never breached.

Still, there are concerns that the rally may have gone too far too soon as uncertainty around Trump's policies remain.

Oil prices edged higher on forecasts of a steep draw in U.S. crude oil stocks that could indicate a global oversupply is starting to shrink. [O/R]

The dollar index .DXY bounced back towards 14-year highs, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. labor market had improved to its strongest in almost a decade, suggesting wage growth is picking up.

Biogen  shares fell 0.5 percent to $277.31 in premarket trading, a day after the U.S. drug maker said it had appointed its chief commercial officer as chief executive officer, ending a five-month search.

General Mills  fell 4.8 percent to $60.00 after the Cheerios cereal-maker's quarterly profit missed expectations.

Nvidia  was up 1.9 percent at $103.60 after brokerages Goldman Sachs and Mizuho raised their price targets on the chipmaker's stock.

Advanced Micro Devices  was up 2.3 percent at $11.20 after Mizuho raised upgraded the stock to "buy".

Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 29 points, or 0.15 percent, with 12,189 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 4 points, or 0.18 percent, with 49,098 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 5.75 points, or 0.12 percent, on volume of 9,593 contracts.

Reference: Tanya Agrawal

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