Tuesday May 17th


Futures slightly lower amid data

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open Tuesday, as oil prices gave back much of their initial gains. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent in April, the Labor Department said. Ex-food and energy, the index rose 0.2 percent last month, or 2.1 percent over the last 12 months. That compares with a 2.2 percent rise for the 12 months ending March. Housing starts rose 6.6 percent. Industrial production figures for last month are due later in the morning. Home Depot posted quarterly earnings and revenue that topped expectations and also raised its full-year guidance. The stock was slightly lower in pre-market trade ET. European and Asian stocks were boosted overnight by recovering oil prices. Early on Tuesday, WTI crude futures neared $48 per barrel — the highest price in six months — due to supply outages in Nigeria and Canada, where a wildfire is roaring outside the oil hub of Fort McMurray. As of 8:10 a.m. ET, however, Brent was lower while WTI was up 18 cents. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index tacked on 1.13 percent, ending up 186.40 points at 16,652.80, likely boosted in part by a slightly weaker yen. The U.S. dollar was fetching 109.22 yen at 2:46 p.m. SIN/HK time, up from levels as low as around 108.50 yen in the previous session. A weaker Japanese currency is considered a positive for the country's exporters when they repatriate overseas earnings. Shares in Hong Kong gained, with the Hang Seng Index adding 1.08 percent by 3:41 p.m. SIN/HK time. On the mainland, shares were slightly lower, with the Shanghai Composite shedding 0.25 percent to end down 7.13 points at 2843.73, and the Shenzhen Composite edging 0.02 percent, or 0.348 point, to 1814.68. U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, helped by gains in energy stocks as oil rose and a 3.7 percent rise in shares of Apple. Warren Buffett'sBerkshire Hathaway reported taking a stake of around $1 billion in the stock in the first quarter of 2016. Apple suppliers such as Samsung Electronics (which is also a competitor to the tech giant) rose in Asian trade overnight. Gold edged down on Tuesday partly in response to gains in global stock markets which reduced the appeal of the precious metal, often perceived as a refuge from riskier assets. Spot gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,273 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,274.30.