Futures Point to Lower Open; Traders Eye U.S. Political News
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U.S. stock-index futures fell mildly Tuesday, hinting Wall Street's seven day winning streak could be in jeopardy, as traders braced for a fresh round of budget talks in Washington.
As of 8:03 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 29 points to 14352, S&P 500 futures dipped 3.3 points to 1547 and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 7.5 points to 2798.
The rally in equity markets continued Monday, with the Dow notching yet another record high and the S&P 500 closing at its highest level since October 2007. The broad-market barometer is only 0.57% off its record high of 1565.15. Meanwhile, volatility, as measured by the CBOE's VIX, is sitting at its lowest level in five years.
With little in the way of U.S. economic data on tap, the focus was expected to shift to Capitol Hill. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is expected to unveil the Republican party's federal budget proposal. In an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal, Ryan said the plan balances the government's finances in a decade without raising taxes.
The proposal, which echoes ideas raised by the GOP during the 2012 campaigns, relies on spending cuts in several areas and the repeal of President Barack Obama's health-care reform law, Ryan wrote in the Journal. The move is likely to be met with stiff resistance by Democrats who control the Senate.
The Senate is also expected to mull a continuing resolution bill that would halt a late-March government shutdown. Such a measure was passed in the House last week.
On the European front, U.K. industrial production skidded lower by 1.2% in January from December, widely missing forecasts of an increase of 0.1%. Markets in Britain traded essentially flat despite the weak data. David Madden, a market analyst at IG in London, wrote in an email that the data "actually helped the market" because it increased the chances of more asset purchases from the Bank of England.
Elsewhere, gold prices rallied $16.10, or 1%, to $1594 a troy ounce. Oil rose 7 cents, or 0.08%, to $92.13 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.19% to $3.146 a gallon.
In corporate news, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares got a boost on talk Lenovo could be interested in acquiring the embattled smartphone maker or potentially part of its portfolio. Yum Brands (NASDAQ:YUM) also rallied on the back of a smaller-than-expected 20% dip in same-store sales for the January and February period.
The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.08% to 2717, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.02% to 6505 and the German DAX slipped 0.04% to 7981.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 drifted lower by 0.28% to 12315 and the Chinese Hang Seng slumped 0.87% to 22891.