Wednesday November 27th


Stock futures rise, point to fresh record highs on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Wednesday, putting the major averages on track more records at the open. Around 7:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 38 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also traded higher. Those gains built on the market’s recent run to all-time highs that was sparked by optimism around U.S.-China trade talks. Over the past month, the Dow and S&P 500 are up 4.3% and 3.9%, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite is up nearly 5% in that time. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said negotiators were close to reaching an initial trade deal. Trump’s upbeat comments on trade followed a phone call between officials from the U.S. and China. The negotiators agreed to keep working on remaining issues. Those comments came after Trump said last month that a “phase one” trade deal was in the works. Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment. Wednesday’s moves come ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday for which the market will be closed on Thursday. Typically, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has been a good day for stocks. Data from the Stock Trader’s Almanac shows the Dow has only declined 16 times in the past 66 years the day before the holiday. On the data front, the latest weekly jobless claims report and personal income and spending numbers will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET. Durable goods orders for October and the second reading of real third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) will be published at the same time. Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November, and pending home sales for October will follow slightly later in the session. The Federal Reserve’s Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions, also known as the Beige Book, will be released at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The commentary is an important indicator of the state of the world’s largest economy and a look into how the Fed views its monetary policy stance. Shares in Asia were mixed on Wednesday as investors looked for concrete developments on U.S.-China trade as the threat of increased tariffs looms. Mainland Chinese stocks shed gains from an earlier recovery to end their trading day lower, with the Shanghai composite declining 0.13% to about 2,903.19 and the Shenzhen component slipping 0.3% at 9,648.39. The Shenzhen composite also fell 0.227% to around 1,602. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.15% higher at 26,954. Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.28% to close at 23,437.77, while the Topix index gained 0.31% to end its trading day at 1,710.98. South Korea’s Kospi also advanced 0.31% to close at 2,127.85. Oil steadied above $64 a barrel on Wednesday as an industry report showing a surprise boost in U.S. crude inventories was offset by optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal being agreed soon. Oil industry group the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday said U.S. crude inventories rose by 3.6 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease. The U.S. government’s supply report is due later on Wednesday. Brent crude was up 23 cents at $64.50 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was 17 cents higher at $58.58. Gold prices eased on Wednesday and were hovering close to a two-week low touched in the previous session as increasing signals that an interim trade deal could be reached soon buoyed riskier assets and the U.S. dollar. Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,459.10 per ounce. U.S. gold futures also shed 0.1% to $1,459.20.