MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Industrials On Track For Push Above 23,000, As IBM's Rally Provides A Lift

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

IBM is the Dow's biggest premarket gainer after earnings

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U.S. stock futures on Wednesday pointed to a modest gain at the open, putting the Dow industrials on course to rise above 23,000 one day after they briefly traded above that big round number for the first time.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 71 points, or 0.3%, to 23,024.00, while S&P 500 futures added 3.85 points, or 0.2% to 2,560.75. Nasdaq-100 futures inched 4.75 points, or less than 0.1%, higher to 6,128.50.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 edged up to all-time closing highs, with the blue-chip average ending at 22,997.44 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-run-out-of-juice-as-traders-focus-on-goldman-morgan-stanley-earnings-2017-10-17) and trading as high as 23,002.20. The Nasdaq Composite finished slightly lower.

See:Dow 23,000 marks fresh history for blue chips (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-23000-marks-fresh-history-for-blue-chips-2017-10-17)

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Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares in International Business Machines Corp.(IBM) traded 5% higher in premarket action after the tech giant posted better-than-expected quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ibm-stock-up-after-hours-following-earnings-revenue-beat-2017-10-17) late Tuesday. IBM was the Dow average's biggest premarket gainer.

Read more:IBM earnings beat is a product of tax avoidance, and it's nothing new (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ibm-earnings-beat-is-a-product-of-tax-avoidance-and-its-nothing-new-2017-10-18)

Shares in Fogo de Chão Inc.(FOGO) appear on track for a down day after the restaurant chain gave a disappointing outlook late Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fogo-de-chao-shares-decline-as-outlook-misses-street-view-2017-10-17).

Abbot Laboratories(ABT) could see active trading as the provider of pharmaceuticals and other health-care products is among the companies expected to post earnings before the open.

What are strategists saying?

"The Federal Reserve is never too far away from the spotlight, especially when President Donald Trump is interviewing candidates to succeed Janet Yellen when her term ends in February," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note Wednesday. "The dollar has caught a bid in recent days following reports that Trump was impressed when interviewing John Taylor, who is seen as being more hawkish than Yellen."

Taylor is a Stanford University economist and recently viewed as on the president's shortlist of candidates who could replace Fed chief Yellen.

What could drive markets?

At 2 p.m. Eastern, traders are due to get the Fed's Beige Book report, which gathers economic anecdotes from across the U.S. central bank's regional districts.

New York Fed President William Dudley and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan are due to take part in a panel discussion about economic growth, with the event taking place in New York City at 8 a.m. Eastern Time.

A report on housing starts is slated to hit at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with economists polled by MarketWatch forecasting 1.170 million in September.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

What are other assets doing?

European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dax-heads-for-new-record-as-euro-slide-helps-exporters-2017-10-18) largely gained, while Asian markets were mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-continue-to-rise-as-chinas-party-congress-starts-2017-10-17) as a key meeting of China's political elite kicked off. Oil futures rose modestly, while gold futures pulled back. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was inching higher.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 07:35 ET (11:35 GMT)