Monday October 24th


Dow futures rise 100 points amid slew of corporate news; oil slips

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, as investors prepared themselves for another batch of corporate earnings, while waiting to hear for any comments made by key Federal Reserve officials. Dow futures rose 100 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures gained 10.5 points and 34.5 points, respectively. AvalonBay, Everest Re Group, Allison Transmission, Crane, Swift Transportation, Western Alliance Bancorporation and Eagle Materials are all also expected to release earnings. Restaurant Brands International, Kimberly-Clark, T-Mobile and VF Corporation both reported quarterly results. In other corporate news, AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner for more than $85 billion, while TD Ameritrade said its buying Scottrade for $4 billion. AT&T's merger with Time Warner is has already generated skepticism from politicians in Washington, raising the likelihood that regulators will scrutinize the deal. Aside from the upcoming U.S. election, the U.S. central bank continues to be of importance to investors, as traders debate when the Fed will next choose to raise interest rates. On Monday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is set to speak at the Association for University Business and Economic Research's Fall Conference in the morning. Meanwhile, New York Fed President William Dudley will be speaking in New York at "The Evolving Structure of the U.S. Treasury Market: Second Annual Conference". Fed Governor Jerome Powell will also be speaking at the event in the afternoon, to discuss the future of Treasury market settlement. At 1.30 p.m. ET, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is set to give a speech at The Civic Affairs Society of the University Club of Chicago Luncheon.For Monday, it remains relatively quiet on the economic data front, with investors focusing predominantly on the release of the Markit flash U.S. manufacturing PMI data, due out at 9.45 a.m. ET. Elsewhere, oil prices held lower on Monday, with U.S. WTI trading around $50.47 per barrel at 9:03 a.m. ET, while Brent hovered around $51.57. Oil prices fell on Monday as Iraq said it wanted to be exempt from an OPEC deal to cut production, though losses were capped by Iran saying it would encourage other members to join an output freeze. European stocks traded mostly higher during its morning session, while Asia-Pacific indexes ended mixed to higher overnight. The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 49.83 points, or 0.29 percent, at 17,234.42. The Japanese yen strengthened from levels near 103.90 before the release to a session high of 103.78. As of 2:11 p.m. HK/SIN, the dollar/yen traded at 103.89. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi closed up 14.74 points, or 0.73 percent, at 2,047.74. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 0.91 percent in late-afternoon trade. Chinese mainland shares were also positive, with the Shanghai composite climbing 37.46 points, or 1.21 percent, to 3,128.40, while the Shenzhen composite rose 17.64 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,070.20. In the previous session, U.S. stocks closed mostly flat. Gold inched lower on Monday as the dollar steadied near a nine-month high, though uncertainty over the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike kept prices hemmed into a range, with traders awaiting U.S. data for further direction. Signs of improving physical demand in major Asian consumers helped underpin the metal after it snapped three weeks of losses last week to rise 1.3 percent, analysts said. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,270.70 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were rose 0.2 percent an ounce at $1,271.10.