Tuesday October 11th


Oil price, earnings set to take the stage on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday, as investors direct their attention to the latest moves in oil, while keeping an eye out for new earnings releases. Oil prices are set to be one of the big events on Tuesday, after prices rose as much as 3 percent on Monday, helping both U.S. and European markets close in positive territory. Crude posted some sharp price rises on Monday, after news emerged that both Russia and Saudi Arabia said a deal between leading OPEC and non-OPEC producers was possible, when it came to curbing the current oil output, Reuters reported. However, prices saw renewed pressure on Tuesday, as doubts emerged over whether a production cut would be enough. Around 6:58 a.m. ET, U.S. WTI was trading around $50.90 per barrel, while Brent crude hovered around $52.70. Alcoa will be one of the key earnings investors will be looking out for on Tuesday. Blackhawk Network, Fastenal and Barracuda Networks are also set to report. Aside from oil and earnings, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to be on the back of investors' minds, as they deliberate over when the U.S. central bank is planning on raising interest rates, following a lower-than-expected jobs number for September. One speech investors will be watching, will be that of Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari's, who is due to take part in a Q&A session at Bethel University on Tuesday morning. Kashkari is expected to cover the topics of open market operations, TARP, among other topics.On the data front, the National Federation of Independent Business' (NFIB) latest survey showed confidence was weighed by inventory worries. U.S. bond markets will also be of interest as four auctions are set to take place by the U.S. Treasury. Bond markets were closed on Monday, due to Columbus Day. European stocks were choppy in morning trade, while Asia-Pacific indexes were mostly mixed in overnight trade. More broadly, South Korea's Kospi finished down 1.21 percent, or 24.89 points, at 2,031.93. In Japan, the Nikkei ended up 0.98 percent, or 164.67, at 17,024.76, likely due to the overnight surge in oil prices and a weaker yen. The dollar/yen was up 0.28 percent at 103.87, from 102 levels last week. Mainland Chinese markets were positive; the Shanghai composite was up 0.59 percent, or 17.947 points, at 3,066.09, while the Shenzhen composite was up 0.507 percent, 10.303 points, at 2,043.686. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 1.47 percent during Asian afternoon trade. In the previous session, U.S. markets closed higher. Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened on increasing bets that the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates in December. Spot gold had dropped 0.2 percent to $1,256.31 an ounce by 0944 GMT. U.S. gold futures also fell 0.2 percent to $1,258.60 an ounce.