U.S. stock futures point to rally at open as traders return from holiday weekend
U.S. stock futures on Tuesday pointed to a jump at the open, with Dow futures rising by more than 200 points and putting the blue-chip gauge on track for a fresh record near the 26,000 level.
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Investors are focusing on earnings, including results from insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. and banking heavyweight Citigroup Inc.
What are the main benchmarks doing?
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed by 209 points, or 0.8%, to 26,010, while S&P 500 futures gained 12 points, or 0.5%, to 2,801. Nasdaq-100 futures jumped by 36 points, or 0.5%, to 6,811.
On Friday ahead of the three-day weekend, the Dow , S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite scored yet another round of all-time closing highs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fresh-records-in-sight-for-us-stocks-as-earnings-inflation-data-loom-2018-01-12), with the blue-chip barometer ending at 25,803.19.
Check out:This epic stock-market rally will get a second wind from stellar earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-epic-stock-market-rally-will-get-a-second-wind-from-stellar-earnings-2018-01-13)
What is driving markets?
The three major equity benchmarks have risen between 22% and 30% over the past 12 months, helped by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy, growth in corporate profits and enthusiasm over the Trump administration's tax cuts and other business-friendly policies.
The Empire State manufacturing survey (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/empire-state-factory-gauge-softens-a-bit-in-january-2018-01-16) slipped to 17.7 in January from a revised 19.6 in December, the New York Fed said. Economists had expected activity to inch up to 18.6, according to a survey by Econoday.
Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
On the Federal Reserve front, no officials are slated to give speeches on Tuesday.
What are strategists saying?
The S&P 500 "has gained an impressive 4.2% in the new year as its uptrend has steepened," said Katie Stockton, BTIG's chief technical strategist, in a note.
"We are looking for a pullback in the 4%-5% range into February. This would be a welcome development, because it would alleviate the market of overly bullish sentiment without likely taking a toll on positive long-term momentum."
Which stocks are in focus?
UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s stock (UNH) traded 3% higher in premarket action after the insurer posted quarterly earnings and revenue that topped expectations.
Citigroup Inc.'s (C) reported a loss in the fourth quarter, as its earnings were wiped out by a $22 billion charge related to the new tax law. Shares were trading 2.7% higher.
General Electric Co.'s stock (GE) fell 3% premarket after the conglomerate said a review of GE Capital's insurance portfolio would result in a $6.2 billion after-tax charge (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ges-stock-sinks-after-unveiling-62-billion-charge-in-q4-2018-01-16) in the fourth quarter.
Shares in Ford Motor Co. (F) could be in focus, after the auto maker teased an all-electric SUV (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ford-teases-all-electric-mach-1-suv-coming-in-2020-2018-01-14) -- the "Mach 1" -- on Sunday, saying it will spend $11 billion on electric cars through 2022. Ford made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Also at the Detroit event, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV(FCA.MI)(FCA.MI) CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday he has no plans to sell its Jeep business or split up the company (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fiat-chrysler-ceo-rules-out-split-jeep-sale-2018-01-16), cooling speculation but leaving the company's long-term strategy unclear.
Energy giant BP PLC(BP.LN) (BP.LN) said Tuesday it expects to book a $1.7 billion post-tax charge (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bp-to-book-17-billion-deepwater-horizon-charge-2018-01-16-34853027) in its fourth-quarter earnings for claims associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout. BP's U.S.-listed shares were down 2% premarket.
Shares of Viacom Inc.(VIA) fell more than 4% in premarket trade on Tuesday. On Friday, The Wrap reported that Shari Redstone, president of National Amusements, which owns controlling interests in Viacom and CBS Corp. (CBSA) was reengaging the two media companies in talks to merge.
What are other markets doing?
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index , which measures the buck against a basket of six rivals, was up 0.3% from Monday's level to 90.73, paring its year-to-date loss to 1.5%.
Bitcoin's spot price (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-tumbles-to-6-week-low-as-top-cryptocurrencies-all-sell-off-2018-01-16) was down sharply to a six-week low, as the top cryptocurrencies all sold off. European equities (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-head-higher-as-euro-pulls-back-2018-01-16) and Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-stocks-bounce-back-hang-seng-aims-for-a-record-2018-01-16) have scored gains. Gold futures were little changed, and oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-pulls-back-from-3-year-high-with-brent-below-70-2018-01-16) were pulling back.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 16, 2018 08:50 ET (13:50 GMT)