Tuesday March 27th


US futures point to a triple-digit rise at the open; trade concerns abate

U.S. stock index futures posted solid gains ahead of Tuesday's open, extending the gains seen in the previous trading day. Around 7:05 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 124 points, indicating a jump of 117 points at the open. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 futures also indicated a positive open for their respective markets. The moves in premarket trade come after Wall Street finished Monday's session sharply higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average soaring 669.40 points, posting its biggest one-day percentage gain since August 2015. International markets received a boost Tuesday after a strong day on Wall Street, with both Asian and European indexes posting gains during their respective trading sessions. Markets have bounced back over the past day, with investors attributing this to an alleviation of concerns over potential trade tariffs. Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum that would inflict tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports prompting China to retaliate, however news has emerged that the nations are open to discussions that could allay a trade war. According to Reuters, China's Premier Li Keqiang told a conference Monday that both the U.S. and China should continue talks, with Keqiang pledging to maintain open markets, in the hope of preventing a potential trade war. Switching focus to Tuesday's session, a slew of economic data is due to be released. At 9 a.m. ET, the S&P Case-Shiller House Price Index is due out, followed by consumer confidence at 10 a.m. ET, along with the Richmond Fed survey of manufacturing activity. At 10:30 a.m. ET meantime, the Dallas Fed's Texas service sector outlook survey is expected to be published. In the corporate space, social media firms continue to be on the radar, as alleged abuse of people's data remains a key topic of discussion. Last week, reports emerged alleging that Cambridge Analytica, an analytics company, had gathered data from 50 million Facebook profiles without users' permission. While Facebook has since come out to apologize and try to rectify the matter, concerns remain over data use. Asian stocks closed higher on Tuesday after Wall Street rebounded on the first day of the trading week as China and the U.S. moved to ease trade tensions. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.65 percent, or 551.22 points, to close at 21,317.32. The broader Topix gained 2.74 percent, as all sectors advanced. Seoul's Kospi also rose, with the benchmark adding 0.61 percent to end at 2,452.06. Greater China markets also bounced. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Indexrose 0.79 percent, or 242.06 points, to finish at 30,790.83 after paring steeper gains seen earlier in the day. On the mainland, the Shanghai composite tacked on 1.04 percent to close at 3,166.29 and the Shenzhen composite rose 2.2 percent to finish at 1,829.69. Small caps outperformed, with the Chinext start-up board surging 3.38 percent while the blue chip CSI 300 edged higher by 0.86 percent. Oil prices rose on Tuesday, holding above $70 a barrel for a third day, supported by concerns that tensions in the Middle East could lead to supply disruptions, although with global output rising fast, investors remained cautious. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 30 cents at $65.85 a barrel at 8:09 a.m. ET (1209 GMT). Brent crude futures rose 34 cents to $70.46 per barrel. Gold slipped on Tuesday as risk appetite revived in global financial markets, lifting equities, but the precious metal was not far off a six-week high hit overnight as investors remained cautious over political tensions between Russia and the West. Spot gold was down 0.9 percent at $1,340.90 per ounce at 8:20 a.m. EST, after touching $1,356.66 earlier in the session, its highest since Feb. 16. U.S. gold futures for April delivery fell 1.02 percent to $1,341.20 per ounce.