MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Fight To Hold Steady As Strategists Brace For A Deeper Pullback

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Dow, S&P 500 are coming off their first weekly drop in 2 months

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U.S. stock futures on Monday pointed to little change at the open, putting the Dow and S&P 500 on track to catch their breath after enduring their first weekly drop in two months.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dipped by 17 points, or less than 0.1%, to 23,365, while S&P 500 futures shed 1.10 points to 2,578.50. Nasdaq-100 futures tacked on 1.75 points to 6,311.

On Friday, the Dow and S&P 500 notched weekly drops of 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively, as they suffered their first weekly declines since early September (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-slump-70-points-as-tax-delay-concerns-spook-investors-2017-11-10). The Nasdaq Composite gave up 0.2% for the week.

What is moving markets?

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Analysts have blamed last week's selling on worries about delays in much-anticipated corporate tax cuts out of Washington. The three main stock gauges are up by between 15% and 25% for the year, supported by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy and improving corporate profits.

Investors continue to monitor President Donald Trump's 13-day visit to Asia. On Monday, Trump said he had a "great relationship" with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and a White House official said human rights got only a brief mention as the two met in Manila, a Reuters report said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-asia-philippines/trump-and-philippines-duterte-bond-at-asia-summit-rights-mentioned-briefly-idUSKBN1DD0FZ).

On Sunday night, the president teased (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-teases-trade-announcement-to-be-announced-wednesday-2017-11-12) a "major statement" on trade that he said he'll make Wednesday in Washington. "A lot of things are happening on trade and I'll be announcing pretty much what happened here and also with other meetings, including with China, South Korea and lots of other places," Trump said from Manila.

What are strategists saying?

"Global equity markets have seen a loss of short-term momentum that has finally given way to a pullback in the S&P 500 Index," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG, in a note.

"A pullback in the 2%-3% range might be enough to relieve the market of 'overly bullish' sentiment without generating a lot of breakdowns or affecting positive intermediate-term momentum," Stockton said.

What are other assets doing?

European stocks largely pulled back, though the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was gaining thanks in part to the pound dropping as British Prime Minister Theresa May faces fresh pressure (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pound-slides-as-british-government-faces-turmoil-2017-11-13) to resign.

Most Asian markets closed lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nikkei-slumps-again-as-asian-markets-decline-2017-11-12), though Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index managed a modest gain. Gold futures and the ICE U.S. Dollar Index were higher. Oil futures was slightly lower, as a United Arab Emirates official said (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/13/opec-likely-to-extend-supply-cuts-in-bid-to-rebalance-the-market-uae-energy-minister-suhail-al-mazroui-says.html) he expects major producers to extend global supply cuts at a closely-watched meeting at the end of the month.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares in Mattel Inc.(MAT) traded 22% higher in premarket action in the wake of a report late Friday that rival toymaker Hasbro Inc.(HAS) has made a takeover offer (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/hasbro-makes-an-offer-to-buy-rival-mattel-2017-11-1).

Shares in General Electric Co.(GE) rose 1% in premarket action following news the conglomerate will announce a focus on three of its biggest business lines, but won't pursue a more radical restructuring.

Tyson Foods Inc.'s stock (TSN) could see active trading as the meat producer is among the companies expected to post earnings before the open.

Shares in Boeing Co. (BA) could make moves after the aerospace giant scored a $15 billion deal with Emirates Airlines (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-seals-151-billion-emirates-airlines-deal-2017-11-12), and GGP Inc. (GGP) may see active trading as Brookfield Property Partners LP (BPY) has made a $14.8 billion offer (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brookfield-property-offers-148-billion-to-buy-mall-owner-ggp-2017-11-12) to acquire the shares of the mall owner that it doesn't already own.

What economic news is ahead?

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker in a speech Sunday pulled back slightly in his support (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-harker-pulls-back-slightly-his-support-for-a-december-rate-hike-2017-11-12) for a December interest-rate hike. No Federal Reserve officials are schedule to speak on Monday, but on Tuesday, departing Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is due to take part in a panel discussion with heads of other major central banks.

Read: With hurricane noise beginning to soften, economic focus turns to Fedspeak (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/with-hurricane-noise-beginning-to-soften-economic-focus-turns-to-fedspeak-2017-11-11)

An October report on the U.S. federal budget is due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 05:30 ET (10:30 GMT)