Gauge for blue-chip stocks set to add to prior day's 256-point gain
Futures for the Dow industrials pointed to a modest rise at the open Wednesday, putting the blue-chip gauge on track for a fresh record as it approaches the 24,000 mark.
Traders kept an eye out for progress on a U.S. tax overhaul following a step forward during the prior session.
What are the main benchmarks doing?
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures tacked on 69 points, or 0.3%, to 23,880.
S&P 500 futures inched up by less than a point to 2,627, while Nasdaq-100 futures edged lower by 6 points, or 0.1%, to 6,413.
On Tuesday, the Dow , S&P and Nasdaq Composite achieved all-time closing highs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-gathers-strength-for-higher-open-as-traders-brace-for-powell-hearing-2017-11-28), as progress on a Republican tax overhaul appeared to offset worries about a North Korean missile test. The Dow finished sharply higher, rising by 1.1%, or 255.93 points, to end at 23,836.71 -- less than below 1% the 24,000 level.
The three equity benchmarks have gained between 17% and 28% for the year, boosted by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy, rising corporate profits, anemic expected returns for other assets and bets that the Trump administration will deliver on tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.
See:Why the Korean won is shrugging off missile worries to trade near a 2 1/2 -year high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-why-the-korean-won-is-shrugging-off-missile-worries-to-trade-near-2-12-year-high-2017-11-28)
What are strategists saying?
"The major theme right now is nothing other than the tax reform bill and President Trump's efforts to pass it through the Senate," said Konstantinos Anthis, an ADS Securities analyst, in a note.
"Should the Senate approve the bill, it will be considered a major victory for President Trump."
Which stocks look like key movers?
Shares in Autodesk Inc.(ADSK) plunged 12% in premarket action for the S&P 500's biggest drop after the software company late Tuesday announced a restructuring plan (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autodesk-plans-layoffs-stock-plummets-after-earnings-2017-11-28) along with its quarterly earnings.
Movie theater chain Regal Entertainment Group(RGC) rose 6% in premarket trading after British counterpart Cineworld Group PLC(CINE.LN) (CINE.LN) said it's in talks to buy the American company for $3.1 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-theater-chain-cineworld-makes-36-billion-bid-for-regal-entertainment-2017-11-28). Regal has confirmed the discussions (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/regal-entertainments-stock-soars-after-confirming-buyout-talks-with-cineworld-2017-11-29).
Marvell Technology Group Ltd.(MRVL) added 3% ahead of the open after the chipmaker's quarterly results and outlook topped forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/marvell-tech-shares-tick-higher-as-earnings-outlook-beat-street-view-2017-11-28) late Tuesday.
Tiffany & Co.(TIF) was slightly lower after erasing a premarket gain. The high-end jeweler posted better-than-expected quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tiffanys-stock-jumps-after-profit-and-sales-rise-above-expectations-2017-11-29) before the opening bell.
What are other assets doing?
European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/banks-propel-european-stocks-to-3-week-high-after-powell-hearing-2017-11-29) mostly advanced, while Asian markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stocks-in-china-hong-kong-continue-to-fade-2017-11-28). Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-fall-after-us-inventory-reading-shows-surprise-spike-2017-11-29) fell after an American Petroleum Institute release indicated a surprise increase in U.S. crude supplies.
A key U.S. dollar index () was little changed, but the buck was dropping in particular against the British pound as reports signaled progress in the Brexit negotiations. Gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-pulls-back-from-one-week-highs-as-dollar-index-tips-higher-2017-11-29) traded slightly lower.
What could help drive the market?
Traders will be tracking progress on a U.S. tax overhaul after the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday voted 12-11 to advance a Republican tax bill. A full Senate vote could be held as early as Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-budget-committee-advances-republican-tax-bill-on-party-lines-2017-11-28).
In economic news, the U.S. economy's pace of growth in the third quarter was raised to 3.3% from 3% under the government's latest revision to gross domestic product. The rise was in line with expectations.
An October reading on pending home sales is slated to arrive at 10 a.m. Eastern, followed at 2 p.m. Eastern by the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a report that provides anecdotal evidence about U.S. economic conditions.
Departing Fed chief Janet Yellen is scheduled to testify on the economic outlook before a congressional committee at 10 a.m. Eastern.
Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
Also on the Fed front, New York Fed President William Dudley is due to discuss the economy's prospects at New Jersey's Rutgers University at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, and San Francisco Fed President John Williams is slated to speak at 1:50 p.m. Eastern at an annual economic forecast luncheon in Phoenix sponsored by Arizona State University.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 29, 2017 08:50 ET (13:50 GMT)