Dow Industrials on Track to Open Above 26,000

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

DJIA set to open above 26,000

-- Dollar rebounds after three-year low

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-- Bitcoin selloff accelerates

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was on course to open above 26,000 Tuesday, with U.S. stocks set to echo broad-based gains in Europe and Asia-Pacific as it continued its speedy leap higher amid the continued market rally.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.8% opening gain. Futures for the S&P 500 indicated a rise of 0.5%. Meanwhile, the dollar rebounded from Monday's three-year low.

Tuesday's historic rise builds on the Dow's 25% gain last year, and its seemingly unstoppable climb to start 2018. The rally began in late 2016 as a bet on infrastructure spending, deregulation and tax cuts, but spent 2017 rising on the back of strong corporate earnings growth. The start of fourth-quarter reporting season, which many money managers expect will again exceed analyst expectations, has the potential to catapult the stock market even higher, some fund managers say.

In S&P 500 futures, retailers were among the stocks heading for early gains, with Gap and Michael Kors both set for rises of 2.7%. General Electric was set for a 3.4% drop after announcing it expects a $6.2 billion after-tax charge in its fourth quarter after reviewing GE Capital's runoff insurance portfolio.

A selloff in bitcoin accelerated in early European trading, with the cryptocurrency last 10.8% lower at $12,126.01, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin was priced at $14,000 in early Asian trading and Tuesday's drop came after China and South Korea moved in recent days to place restrictions on cryptocurrency trading.

The Stoxx Europe 600was trading up 0.3% in European afternoon trading, with the index's industrial goods sector up 0.3% and its insurance sector up 0.7%.

The euro was down 0.3% against the dollar, which hit a new three-year low Monday.

That came despite the passage of a reform package through Greece's parliament that moved Athens closer to an exit from its bailout program.

A stronger euro is seen as negative for Europe's big exporters.

With global companies comprising a significant portion of Europe's major index, "a fall in the euro is a tailwind for those companies, so that's part of the equation," said Alain Bokobza, head of global asset allocation at Société Générale Corporate Investment Banking.

Prospective U.S. gains and European buying followed a positive close in Asia-Pacific markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 1.8% higher, hitting a fresh record. The U.S. dollar clawed back some of the value it lost Monday, with the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, up 0.2%, but down 2.7% over the past month.

Japanese stocks rebounded from Monday's selloff, with a weaker yen helping the country's exporters. The dollar gained 0.2% to Yen110.7120, pushing the Nikkei to finish up 1% at a fresh 26-year high. Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.3% to log another 28-year record and New Zealand's NZX 50 closed 0.4% higher after four days of losses.

In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.8%, rallying from downbeat trading Monday and the Shenzhen Composite rose 0.7%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.4%, with mining companies falling as metals prices lost some of Monday's dollar-driven gains. Rio Tinto closed 0.7% down, despite hitting a 6 1/2 -year high earlier in the day after posting record production figures for 2017. Peer BHP Billiton closed 0.8% down.

The pullback in Australia mirrored selling across the energy and metals sectors. Brent crude oil was last 1.1% down at $69.52 a barrel ahead of monthly U.S. drilling productivity numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Elsewhere, London three-month copper futures fell 1.9%. A stronger U.S. currency tends to make dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The dollar was buffeted by the yen, euro and yuan Monday after less dovish remarks from the governor of the Bank of Japan, progress in the German chancellor's attempts to build a coalition government and optimistic remarks from China's prime minister ahead of gross domestic product data, expected Thursday.

Against a backdrop of synchronized global economic growth, "it's pretty clear that a lot of countries around the world are starting to think slightly more hawkishly about growth data. You have some central banks headed toward an exit from more accommodative policies... [while] on the other side you have expected Fed rate hikes which are already priced in, " said James Pomeroy, a global economist at HSBC.

U.S. 10-year Treasury yields slipped to 2.534% from 2.551% late Friday. Yields move inversely to prices.

Gregor Stuart Hunter,

Kevin Kingsbury

and Corrie Driebusch contributed to this article.

Write to David Hodari at David.Hodari@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 16, 2018 09:16 ET (14:16 GMT)

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