Monday October 31st


US election, FOMC in the spotlight on Wall Street; earnings, data eyed

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Monday, as investors prepared for more earnings and data, amid uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election and what the Federal Reserve might do next. On Tuesday, the Federal Open Market Committee is set to meet for the start of its two-day meeting, to discuss the current state of the U.S. economy, and contemplate when would be the correct time to raise interest rates. Ahead of that meeting, the Dallas Fed survey is set to be released on Monday at 10:30 a.m. ET. While the U.S. central bank should be front and center this week, the meeting could be overshadowed by news emerging out of the U.S. election campaign. On Friday, the FBI announced that it was reviewing new evidence in connection with its investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server. The news shook markets and sent U.S. stocks to close lower last Friday. Aside from politics and central bank decisions, earnings and data are also set to shake up market sentiment on Monday. On the earnings front, Anadarko Petroleum and General Growth Properties both reporting.Lumber Liquidators, Honda Motor and Cardinal Health all reported before the bell Monday. Aside from the Dallas Fed survey, on the data front, U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in September, gaining 0.5 percent. The Chicago PMI is also due out at 9:45 a.m. ET. Meanwhile in oil, prices were under slight pressure on Monday after non-OPEC producers made no specific commitment to join OPEC in its desire to limit current oil output levels, Reuters reported. Around 8:33 a.m. ET, U.S. crude stood around $48.19 per barrel, while Brent crude hovered around $49.07. European stocks were in negative territory, while Asia-Pacific indexes closed mostly lower overnight. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.12 percent or 21.39 points at 17,425.02, as investors awaited announcements from the Bank of Japan, which started a two-day monetary policy meeting on Monday. Mainland Chinese markets were moderately lower. The Shanghai composite finished down 0.09 percent or 2.895 points at 3,101.375, while the Shenzhen composite ended down 0.08 percent, or 1.739 points, at 2,050.276. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.13 percent mid-afternoon, after initially slipping more than 0.6 percent; South Korea's Kospi ended down 0.56 percent, or 11.23 points, at 2,008.19. In the previous session, U.S. markets closed in the red. Gold edged lower on Monday as the dollar rebounded after recent losses, though concerns over the outlook for the U.S. election and Federal Reserve policy kept the metal pinned near the previous session's three-week high. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,273.18 an ounce at 8:36 EDT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down 0.2 at $1,273.50 an ounce. Spot prices remain within $15 of Friday's high, however.