Tuesday November 1st


US election, earnings to be front and center on Wall Street; Fed meeting eyed

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, as investors prepared for further earnings and data releases, amid uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election and what the Fed might do next. On Tuesday, the Federal Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day monetary policy meeting where it is set to discuss the current state of the U.S. economy. Investors will be keeping an eye on the meeting for any signals as to when the central bank could raise interest rates. While the U.S. central bank's meeting should grab headlines, the meeting could be overshadowed by the U.S. election. Last Friday, the FBI announced that it was reviewing new evidence in connection with its investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server. On Monday, a former bureau official told CNBC that FBI Director James Comey opposed accusing Russia of meddling in the U.S. election, with Comey arguing privately that it was too close to Election Day. Aside from politics and central bank decisions, earnings and data are also set to move markets on Tuesday. On the earnings front, Kellogg, Thomson Reuters, Etsy, Electronic Arts, Western Union and Square are some of the big names reporting. Pfizer and Coach both reported before the bell. Meanwhile in data news, Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI is expected at 9:45 a.m. ET, while at 10 a.m. ET, ISM manufacturing and construction spending are also due.Crude prices were posting slight gains on Tuesday after OPEC agreed on a long-term strategy, which was seen as a signal that the group was reaching a consensus on sorting out its output levels; Reuters reported. Around 8:23 a.m. ET, U.S. crude stood around $46.89 per barrel, while Brent hovered around $48.97. European stocks fluctuated between gains and losses, while Asia-Pacific indexes closed mixed to mostly higher overnight. Chinese markets traded higher after stronger-than-expected twin PMI surveys gave investors a boost of confidence. The Shanghai composite finished up 0.69 percent, or 21.54 points, at 3,122.03, after China's manufacturing PMI surveys were released, while the Shenzhen composite ended 1.114 percent higher, or 22.836 points, at 2,073.113. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 1.27 percent mid-afternoon, but one debut stock bucked the overall higher trend. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished up 0.1 percent, or 17.38 points, at 17,442.4, after the Bank of Japan stood pat on monetary policy. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi closed down 0.04 percent, or 0.8 points, at 2,007.39, as a political crisis involving President Park Geun-hye weighed on investor sentiment. Gold prices inched up on Tuesday as the dollar edged lower, with investors awaiting cues from a series of upcoming central bank policy meetings and U.S. economic data. Of the various central bank policy meetings due this week, the Federal Open Market Committee meeting due Tuesday and Wednesday will be closely monitored for clues on the timing of a possible interest rate hike. October U.S. non-farm payrolls data is due Friday. Spot gold was up 0.7 percent at $1,286.91 per ounce by 8:40 am EDT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 1.13 percent to $1,287.40. In the previous session, U.S. equities closed around the breakeven line.