Stock Futures Point to Subdued December Opener


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U.S. stock-index futures were little changed Monday as traders awaited a key report on the American factory sector.

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Today's Markets 

As of 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 5 points, or 0.04%, to 16072, S&P 500 futures advanced 0.5 point, or 0.03%, to 1805, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6.5 points, or 0.19%, to 3494.

As the holiday season revs up, action on Wall Street frequently settles down. And that was the case last week, with volume coming in light across the board.

On the economic docket is an important report on manufacturing from the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM PMI gauge is forecast to have fallen to 55 in November from 56.4 the month before. The reading would suggest the sector is still expanding, but at a decreasing pace.

The Federal Reserve has said it is paying close attention to economic reports as it decides when it will begin trimming its massive bond-buying program. The all-important monthly jobs report is due out on Friday.

Elsewhere, in corporate news, Hilton Worldwide said in a regulatory filing it's looking to raise as much as $2.4 billion in what would be the biggest initial public offering of a hotel company. (NASDAQ:AMZN) said it is prepared to begin shipping packages via drones called Octocopters as soon as U.S. regulators are prepared to approve the devices.

Retailers saw sales increase 2.3% on a year-to-year basis to $12.3 billion on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, according to ShopperTrak. However, on Black Friday day alone, sales plummeted 13.2%.

“The Black Friday shopping experience is changing with more shoppers choosing to go out on Thanksgiving Day,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin, said in a statement.

“Consumers increasingly research products online before entering stores. When they arrive, customers know exactly what they want to buy – retailers now need to make their experience a satisfying one.”

In metals, gold slid $14.70, or 1.2%, to $1,235 a gallon. Oil climbed 33 cents, or 0.36%, to $93.06 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline advanced 0.05% to $2.664 a gallon.

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