Tuesday July 17th


US futures pause ahead of Goldman Sachs, J&J, Charles Schwab earnings

U.S. stock index futures pulled back ahead of Tuesday’s open, as investors monitored corporate and political developments. Around 6:00 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 14 points, indicating a positive open of 9.64 points. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 futures indicated a downbeat start to their respective trading sessions. Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, UnitedHealth, Charles Schwab, Omnicom, CSX and United Continental are some of the firms scheduled to publish their latest financial figures. In economic data, the business leaders’ survey is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by industrial production at 9:15 a.m. ET and the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index at 10 a.m. ET. Treasury International Capital (TIC) data is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is expected to deliver his semiannual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Elsewhere, Kansas City Fed President Esther George will attend the 2018 Agricultural Symposium in Kansas City, Missouri. Both speeches will be watched closely for any comment on the state of the U.S. economy. On the political front, investors are likely to be digesting the latest reaction to Monday’s summit between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Trump blamed both Russia and the States for the countries’ strained relationship, adding that Putin was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial" when it came to Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Elsewhere, investors will be keeping a close eye on the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and major economies including China and the European Union. Asian shares closed mostly lower on Tuesday — with Japan the only major market finishing in positive territory — as energy stocks declined amid weakness in oil prices. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.23 percent by 3:15 p.m. Meanwhile, the Shanghai composite pulled back by 0.55 percent, or 15.42 points, to close at 2,798.62 after earlier falling as much as 39 points. The Shenzhen composite declined 0.17 percent to end at 1,600.08. Elsewhere, the Kospi closed lower by 0.18 percent at 2,297.92. South Korean auto stocks and retailers rose, but major technology names edged lower. The lone bright spot among major markets in the region was the Nikkei 225, which edged higher by 0.44 percent, or 100.01 points, to close at 22,697.36 as the yen remained weaker. The index had touched an intraday high of 22,832.22 earlier. Oil prices stabilized on Tuesday as worries over supply disruptions balanced signs of increasing production and potential damage to global growth from the U.S.-China trade dispute. Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 15 cents at $71.99 a barrel by 0920 GMT after earlier falling to $71.35, its lowest since April 17. The contract fell 4.6 percent on Monday. U.S. light crude was up 15 cents at $68.21 a barrel. It lost 4.2 percent on Monday. Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday as the dollar remained on the backfoot ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's first congressional testimony. Spot gold was up 0.25 percent at $1,243.18 an ounce at 0723 GMT while U.S. gold futures for August delivery were up 0.3 percent at $1,243.20 an ounce.