Kraft-Heinz, Unilever, Wal-Mart, Home Depot among stocks to watch
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U.S. equities looked set to pick up on their record run, with stock futures briefly tapping fresh highs in holiday-thinned Monday trading as investors prepared for key data and results from retailers this week.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 31 points, or 0.2%, to 20,619, pushing as high as 20,671, according to FactSet. S&P 500 futures gained 3.1 points, or 0.1%, to 2,351, tapping a high of 2,356.75. Nasdaq-100 futures added 4.5 points to 5,330.25, reaching as high as 5,345.50.
U.S. stock exchanges were closed for the Presidents Day holiday on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/which-markets-will-be-closed-on-presidents-day-2017-02-16). Trading in U.S. stock futures will close at noon Eastern Time and reopen at 5 p.m. Eastern. But the backdrop was positive for Tuesday's session, as all three major stock indexes closed at record highs on Friday.
The Dow finished up 4.28 points to 20,624.05, while the S&P 500 index rose 0.2% to close at 2,351.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4% to end at 5,838.58. For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 put on 1.8%, while the Nasdaq advanced 1.5%.
Opinion:U.S. stocks' direction will depend on the dominance of either a 'good' or 'bad' Trump (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-direction-will-depend-on-the-dominance-of-either-a-good-or-bad-trump-2017-02-15)
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Attention will focus this week on economic data reports and the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
The Markit flash manufacturing PMI and services PMI surveys for February will be released at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday. Federal Reserve minutes will be released on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Eastern, along with existing home sales for January at 10 a.m. Eastern, among other data.
Data preview:'Soft' side of economy soars under Trump. But here's the 'hard' truth (%e2%80%98Soft%e2%80%99%20side%20of%20economy%20soars%20under%20Trump.%20But%20here%e2%80%99s%20the%20%e2%80%98hard%e2%80%99%20truth)
(%e2%80%98Soft%e2%80%99%20side%20of%20economy%20soars%20under%20Trump.%20But%20here%e2%80%99s%20the%20%e2%80%98hard%e2%80%99%20truth)Investors will also continue to parse comments from U.S. President Donald Trump about his tax plans.
Trump held a rally with supporters in Melbourne, Fla., (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-plucks-ecstatic-supporter-out-of-the-crowd-to-speak-at-florida-rally-2017-02-18) on Saturday, where he reiterated a promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and to proceed with a travel ban on visitors from seven countries in the Middle East and East Africa.
Read: How Trump's stock market ranks in his first 30 days in office (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-president-trumps-stock-market-performance-in-his-first-30-days-ranks-2017-02-17)
Stocks to watch: Shares of Unilever PLC(ULVR.LN) slid 7% in London after Kraft Heinz Co.(KHC) on Sunday dropped its $143 billion offer (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kraft-heinz-withdraws-bid-for-unilever-2017-02-19) for the food rival just two days after making public a bid to combine the two companies. U.S.-listed shares of Unilever (ULVR.LN), along with those of Kraft, could see pressure when trading resumes Tuesday.
In a brief statement Sunday, Kraft said it "has amicably agreed to withdraw its proposal."
Retailers will be in focusTuesday, with Macy's Inc.(M), Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT), Home Depot Inc.(HD) and Lumber Liquidators Holding Inc.(LL) scheduled to report ahead of the open.
See earnings previews:Macy's (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macys-earnings-shifts-in-retail-are-hurting-major-players-2017-02-17), Wal-Mart (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wal-mart-earnings-e-commerce-will-be-a-focus-but-grocery-will-be-an-earnings-asset-2017-02-17)
Other markets: Asian markets finished the day largely higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-hong-kong-stocks-get-off-to-fast-start-on-slow-trading-day-2017-02-19), led by a 1.2% gain for the Shanghai Composite . European stocks rose 0.3%.
The ICE Dollar Index traded moderately lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-moves-higher-against-yen-but-us-holiday-mutes-action-2017-02-20), while crude-oil future rose moderately (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-creep-higher-but-overshadowed-by-us-supply-2017-02-20). Gold prices edged lower.