MARKET SNAPSHOT: Nasdaq Shapes Up For Another Record, While Dow Futures Add 100 Points

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Earnings arrive from Lowe's, Dollar Tree, Medtronic, Campbell Soup and more

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U.S. stock futures on Tuesday pointed to a rise at the open, putting the Nasdaq Composite on track for another record.

Investors are weighing up a raft of corporate earnings and departing Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's announcement (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/janet-yellen-announces-shes-leaving-the-fed-2017-11-20) that she will leave the central bank altogether, rather than stay on as a Fed governor.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

S&P 500 futures rose by 9 points, or 0.3%, to 2,591, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures moved up by 106 points, or 0.4%, to 23,502. Nasdaq-100 futures added 30 points, or 0.5%, to 6,346.

On Monday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both gained 0.1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-face-another-down-day-as-german-political-concerns-weigh-2017-11-20), leaving the Nasdaq less than 0.1% from last week's all-time closing high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-on-track-to-bounce-back-after-dows-138-point-drop-2017-11-16). The Dow tacked on 0.3%, as the blue-chip gauge and the S&P finished 0.6% and 0.5% away from their early-November record closes, respectively.

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The three equity benchmarks are up between 15% and 26% for the year as of Monday's close, helped by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy, growth in corporate profits and bets that the Trump administration will deliver tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.

What are strategists saying?

The Monday announcement from Yellen, who could have stayed on as a Fed governor until 2024, gives President Donald Trump even more room (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yellens-departure-gives-trump-even-more-space-to-rebuild-the-fed-2017-11-20) to change the way the U.S. central bank operates.

"How these changes will potentially affect Fed policy next year is going to be particularly tricky and should not be underestimated," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a note. "The permanent Fed governors get a vote at every meeting. Their views on monetary policy are going to be important and carry a lot of weight."

What could help drive markets?

Chicago Fed national activity index rose to 0.65 in October from 0.36 in September.

An October figure for existing-home sales is due at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists polled by MarketWatch are expecting 5.45 million homes were sold.

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

At 6 p.m. Eastern, Yellen is scheduled to take part in an event with former Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King at New York University's business school.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Home-improvement chain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lowes-beats-profit-expectations-coo-to-retire-2017-11-21)Lowe's Cos.(LOW) and specialty retailer (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/signet-jewelers-shares-sink-after-earnings-miss-and-profit-warning-2017-11-21)Signet Jewelers Ltd.(SIG) fell 1.5% and 14%, respectively, in premarket trading after posting weaker-than-expected earnings before the open, while discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc.(DLTR) gained 0.9% after its stronger-than-anticipated results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-tree-earnings-and-sales-beat-expectations-2017-11-21).

Packaged-foods heavyweights Hormel Foods Corp.(HRL) and Campbell Soup Co.(CPB) also released results, leaving Hormel up by 1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hormel-revenue-drops-as-turkey-troubles-remain-2017-11-21) while Campbell shed 7% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/campbell-soup-shares-fall-after-earnings-miss-and-profit-warning-2017-11-21).

Medical-device maker Medtronic PLC(MDT) posted earnings before the open as well, beating forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/medtronic-beats-second-quarter-profit-and-sales-estimates-2017-11-21). The stock was up 3% in premarket trading.

Shares in Intuit Inc.(INTU) traded 0.8% lower in premarket action. The maker of TurboTax and other accounting software posted better-than-expected quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intuit-beats-on-first-quarter-earnings-but-stock-falls-2017-11-20) late Monday, but some analysts said the company's guidance was disappointing.

Agilent Technologies Inc.(A) fell 4% premarket after the maker of scientific equipment late Monday posted better-than-anticipated quarterly earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/agilent-falls-from-record-highs-after-forecast-comes-up-short-2017-11-20) but gave a profit forecast that fell short of expectations.

Earnings preview:Analyst surveys point to a strong quarter for Salesforce (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/salesforce-earnings-analyst-surveys-pointing-to-a-strong-quarter-2017-11-20)

Shares in AmerisourceBergen Corp.(ABC) could see active trading after the drug distributor late Monday agreed to buy independent wholesaler H.D. Smith for $815 million (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amerisourcebergen-to-acquire-hd-smith-for-815-million-2017-11-20).

What are other assets doing?

European stocks traded higher, while Asian markets mostly closed with gains (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-stocks-lead-broad-gains-by-asian-markets-2017-11-20). Gold futures were advancing, while oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-regains-some-ground-lost-at-the-start-of-the-week-2017-11-21) and the ICE U.S. Dollar Index were little changed.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2017 08:52 ET (13:52 GMT)