MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow, S&P 500 Set For 2nd Day Of Gains As Rebound Continues

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil prices trade little changed ahead of API data

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Wall Street equity benchmarks on Tuesday appeared ready to open modestly higher, putting the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 on track to rise for a second straight session after last week's selloff inspired some investors to tentatively hunt for investment opportunities.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 33 points, or 0.2%, to 21,725, while those for the S&P 500 index added 3.50 points,or 0.1%, to 2,431.50. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index gained 22.50 points, or 0.4%, to 5,815.50.

U.S. stock indexes are attempting to rally from successive bruising weekly declines that have tested investor confidence in the market's bull run, as political strife besetting President Donald Trump's administration and the threat of military conflagrations in the Korean Peninsula rattles nerves.

"There had been fears that last week's selling may accelerate, given the ructions and uncertainty apparent within the Trump administration and concerns that this week's U.S./South Korean military exercises around the Korean Peninsula could trigger hostilities with North Korea," said David Morrison, market strategist at Spread Co, in a post online (https://www.fxstreet.com/analysis/european-us-indices-indicate-stronger-open-201708220706).

Still, the main indexes aren't far from record levels, with the Dow and S&P 500 just about 2% shy of their closing all-time highs hit Aug. 7, while the Nasdaq Composite, which has been more intensely hit by selling, down 3.3% from its July 26 record.

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Both the Dow average and S&P eked out slight gains in thin trade on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-set-to-fight-for-direction-but-flirts-with-biggest-two-week-drop-in-nearly-a-year-2017-08-18), following a flight out of perceived risky assets, such as stocks, last week. The Nasdaq Composite Index , however, on Monday ended marginally lower.

"But for now it looks as if traders are taking advantage of the recent selloff to buy the dips, in tried and tested manner. The question is if it will work as well now as it has in the past," Morrison added.

Read:'Bull market check list remains intact' despite pullback, Morgan Stanley says (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bull-market-check-list-remains-intact-despite-pullback-morgan-stanley-says-2017-08-21)

U.S. and South Korea this week kicked off their annual military exercises (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tensions-expected-to-rise-as-us-south-korea-start-annual-war-games-2017-08-20) that in the past have enraged Pyongyang. North Korea warned on Sunday that the exercises are "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war."

Jackson Hole: Traders were already focusing on the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's central bank symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., which starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are among top speakers, with investors hoping to get hints on the future for interest rate increases.

"The conference has in recent years been a venue for big news in monetary policy, but this time around it is likely to be undramatic," said UBS economists in a note.

"We expect [Yellen's] speech to keep to well-trod financial stability topics--some excesses may exist, but the system is safe--and eschew discussion of potential near-term policy actions," they said.

Yellen and Draghi are both slated to speak on Friday.

The U.S. dollar rose on Tuesday in anticipation of the speeches, with the ICE Dollar Index up 0.5% at 93.533.

Economic news: The FHFA house price index is scheduled for release at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by the Richmond Fed manufacturing index at 10 a.m. Eastern.

No Fed speakers are on the docket for Tuesday.

Stock movers: Shares of Nordson Corp.(NDSN) could move in Tuesday's trade. They rose after-hours on Monday, when the industrial machinery company's outlook fell short of Wall Street estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordson-shares-fall-on-outlook-after-earnings-beat-2017-08-21).

Medtronic PLC (MDT) slipped 1.4% premarket after sales fell short of forecast.

Toll Brothers Inc.(TOL) reported a rise in sales and earnings as home-building deliveries jumped 26%.

Shares of Coty Inc. (COTY) fell after the beauty-products company reported fourth-quarter results that missed Wall Street expectations.

After the market closes on Tuesday, Salesforce.com Inc.(CRM) and Intuit Inc.(INTU). Read a preview of Salesforce earnings: Looking to e-commerce, AI for growth as Dreamforce approaches (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/salesforce-earnings-looking-to-e-commerce-ai-for-growth-as-dreamforce-approaches-2017-08-21)

U.S.-listed shares of Australian-based BHP Billiton Ltd.(BHP.AU) rose 1.9% before the bell after the mining giant said it swung to a full-year profit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bhp-billiton-swings-to-profit-to-hike-dividend-2017-08-22) and it plans to sell its U.S. shale business.

Other markets:Asian stock markets closed mainly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/singapore-ends-5-day-slump-leads-asian-market-gains-2017-08-21), with Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index ending a five-session losing streak.

European markets were also in positive territory (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-set-to-snap-losing-streak-as-miners-jump-2017-08-22), after three straight sessions of losses.

Oil prices traded flat ahead of U.S. supply data (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rebound-ahead-of-us-supply-data-2017-08-22) due at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, while metal prices, including gold , mostly declined after recent run-ups.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 22, 2017 07:31 ET (11:31 GMT)