Oil prices trade little changed ahead of API data
U.S. stock-index futures edged higher on Tuesday, putting the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 on track to rise for a second straight session after last week's selloff inspired some investors to tentatively hunt for investment opportunities.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 47 points, or 0.2%, to 21,738, while S&P 500 index futures added 5.50 points, or 0.2%, to 2,433.50. Nasdaq-100 index futures gained 26.75 points, or 0.5%, to 5,821.
U.S. stock indexes are attempting to rally from successive bruising weekly declines that have tested investor confidence in the market's bull run, as political strife besetting President Donald Trump's administration and the threat of military conflagrations in the Korean Peninsula rattles nerves.
Still, the main indexes aren't far from record levels, with the Dow and S&P 500 just about 2% shy of their closing all-time highs hit Aug. 7, while the Nasdaq Composite, which has been more intensely hit by selling, down 3.3% from its July 26 record.
"There had been fears that last week's selling may accelerate, given the ructions and uncertainty apparent within the Trump administration and concerns that this week's U.S./South Korean military exercises around the Korean Peninsula could trigger hostilities with North Korea," said David Morrison, market strategist at Spread Co, in a post online (https://www.fxstreet.com/analysis/european-us-indices-indicate-stronger-open-201708220706).
"But for now it looks as if traders are taking advantage of the recent selloff to buy the dips, in tried and tested manner. The question is if it will work as well now as it has in the past," Morrison added.
Read: A problem for buy-the-dip investors: no dips to buy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-problem-for-buy-the-dip-investors-no-dips-to-buy-2017-08-08)
Both the Dow and S&P eked out slight gains in thin trade on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-set-to-fight-for-direction-but-flirts-with-biggest-two-week-drop-in-nearly-a-year-2017-08-18). The Nasdaq Composite Index , however, on Monday ended marginally lower.
Read:'Bull market check list remains intact' despite pullback, Morgan Stanley says (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bull-market-check-list-remains-intact-despite-pullback-morgan-stanley-says-2017-08-21)
The U.S. and South Korea this week kicked off their annual military exercises (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tensions-expected-to-rise-as-us-south-korea-start-annual-war-games-2017-08-20) that in the past have enraged Pyongyang. North Korea warned on Sunday that the exercises are "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war."
Jackson Hole: Traders were already focusing on the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's central bank symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., which starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are among top speakers, with investors hoping to get hints on the future monetary policy path from both institutions.
"The conference has in recent years been a venue for big news in monetary policy, but this time around it is likely to be undramatic," wrote UBS economists in a note.
"We expect [Yellen's] speech to keep to well-trod financial stability topics--some excesses may exist, but the system is safe--and eschew discussion of potential near-term policy actions," they said.
Yellen and Draghi are both slated to speak on Friday.
The U.S. dollar rose on Tuesday in anticipation of the speeches, with the ICE Dollar Index up 0.5% at 93.533.
Economic news: The FHFA house price index is scheduled for release at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by the Richmond Fed manufacturing index at 10 a.m. Eastern.
No Fed speakers are on the docket for Tuesday.
Stock movers: Shares of Nordson Corp.(NDSN) could move in Tuesday's trade. They rose after-hours on Monday, when the industrial machinery company's outlook fell short of Wall Street estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordson-shares-fall-on-outlook-after-earnings-beat-2017-08-21).
Medtronic PLC (MDT) slipped 1.4% premarket after sales fell short of forecast.
Toll Brothers Inc.(TOL) reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/toll-brothers-profit-beats-estimates-as-sales-fall-slightly-short-2017-08-22), though sales came in below forecasts.
Shares of Coty Inc. (COTY) fell after the beauty-products company reported fourth-quarter results that missed Wall Street expectations.
After the market closes on Tuesday, results are expected from Salesforce.com Inc.(CRM) and Intuit Inc.(INTU). Read a preview of Salesforce earnings: Looking to e-commerce, AI for growth as Dreamforce approaches (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/salesforce-earnings-looking-to-e-commerce-ai-for-growth-as-dreamforce-approaches-2017-08-21)
U.S.-listed shares of Australian-based BHP Billiton Ltd.(BHP.AU) rose 1.9% before the bell after the mining giant said it swung to a full-year profit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bhp-billiton-swings-to-profit-to-hike-dividend-2017-08-22) and it plans to sell its U.S. shale business.
Other markets:Asian stock markets closed mainly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/singapore-ends-5-day-slump-leads-asian-market-gains-2017-08-21), with Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index ending a five-session losing streak.
European markets were also in positive territory (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-set-to-snap-losing-streak-as-miners-jump-2017-08-22), after three straight sessions of losses.
Oil prices traded flat ahead of U.S. supply data (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rebound-ahead-of-us-supply-data-2017-08-22), while metal prices, including gold , mostly declined after recent run-ups.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 22, 2017 08:30 ET (12:30 GMT)