MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Steady, Set To Close Month On A High Note

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil prices under fresh pressure; pound slips

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U.S. equities were set to finish May with solid monthly gains, though the direction looked less certain on Wednesday, with stock futures straddling the flat line amid weak oil prices.

Investors were also waiting for pending-home sales and the Chicago purchasing-managers index.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 6 points to 21,009, while those for the S&P 500 index inched up 0.6 point to 2,411.25. Nasdaq-100 index futures rose 5 points to 5,797.

U.S. stocks finished modestly lower on Tuesday driven by losses for energy shares, which halted a seven-session streak of gains for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite . Those two indexes slipped 0.1% each, while the Dow industrials fell 0.2%.

Read:This money manager sees no end in sight for bull market (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-money-manager-sees-no-end-in-sight-for-bull-market-2017-05-30)

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Still, a handful of big tech names, such as Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) finished at record levels (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-and-alphabet-on-track-for-record-closes-as-big-tech-hold-gains-2017-05-30) on Tuesday.

Energy shares may again be under pressure on Wednesday, as oil prices saw fresh losses, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-extend-losses-as-concern-grows-over-still-heavy-global-supply-2017-05-31) recently down 1.6% to $48.84 a barrel.

With one session left to go of the month, the Nasdaq has been the best-performing major index for May, up 2.6%, followed by a 1.2% gain for the S&P 500. Both indexes are set for their best monthly percentage gains since February 2017. The Dow industrials is up 0.4%, its best monthly performance since March.

Data ahead: The Chicago purchasing managers index for May will be released at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by April pending-home sales at 10 a.m. Eastern. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book is due at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Among Fed speakers, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan is due to speak at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York at 8 a.m. Eastern. San Francisco Fed President John Williams will give a speech on "global economic and financial challenges" at the Bank of Korea International Conference 2017 in Seoul, South Korea at 8:10 p.m. Eastern.

Stocks to watch:Michael Kors Holdings Inc.(KORS) will report ahead of the open, along with Vera Bradley Inc.(VRA)

Other markets: Stocks in Asia had a mixed day, while Chinese equities inched higher after a gauge of manufacturing beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-manufacturing-beats-forecast-stays-steady-2017-05-30). European stocks traded mostly lower, though the FTSE 100 index was bucking that trend, lifted by gains for exporters as the fell on fresh election jitters (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/theresa-may-could-lose-majority-in-uk-election-fresh-research-finds-2017-05-31).

The pound slipped below $1.28 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pound-falls-again-after-pollster-predicts-may-will-lose-majority-in-election-2017-05-31) after a projection from a polling company indicated U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party could lose its parliamentary majority in the June 8 general election.

Gold prices were marginally lower.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 31, 2017 06:07 ET (10:07 GMT)