Monday December 11th

11-12-2017

S&P 500 futures erase gains, Treasurys rise after reports of explosion at New York's Port Authority terminal

U.S. stocks futures gave back some of their initial gains on Monday following reports of an explosion at a terminal at New York City's Port Authority. Dow Jones industrial average futures traded 25 points higher, while Nasdaq 100 futures were up 4.75 points. S&P 500 futures turned slightly negative, trading down 0.75 point. Treasurys rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year note to 2.36 percent. A senior New York City Police Department official said that one person was in custody following the incident. Police also said the person in custody sustained a minor injury. New York City police later confirmed there was an explosion in Port Authority. In the previous session, U.S. equities finished on a positive note, following the release of a U.S. jobs report that was stronger than the market expected. The nonfarm payrolls data for November revealed Friday that the U.S. had added 228,000 jobs last month, beating expectations of 200,000. The unemployment rate remained steady, at 4.1 percent, while the wage data was below forecasts, with average hourly earnings rising 0.2 percent for the month. Looking to today's data, the main piece of economic news set to be released is the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data, due out at 10 a.m. ET. While there are no major speeches set to take place by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday, investors will be waiting for the upcoming monetary policy meeting by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), to see if the central bank raises interest rates for the final time this year. In October, the Fed minutes revealed that a rate hike during this month was all but certain, despite the low inflation that weighs on market sentiment. Bitcoin will be front and center — again — for investors during trade, after the cryptocurrency's futures started trading on the Cboe Futures Exchange on Sunday. Two hours into the cryptocurrency's launch, the new futures had already climbed 10 percent, causing a temporary trading halt, and has already surged past $17,000. Markets will also keep a close eye on any developments coming out of the U.S. administration, whether that be related to Russia, overhauling the U.S. tax system or President Donald Trump's recent announcement that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — a move criticized internationally. Oil prices spiked higher on Monday after the New York City Police Department confirmed reports of an explosion near the Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan. The oil market had earlier been stable as ongoing output cuts led by OPEC were countered by rising U.S. drilling activity that points to a further increase in American production. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 26 cents, or nearly half a percent, to $57.62 a barrel at 8:04 a.m. ET (1304 GMT). Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were up 25 cents at $63.65 a barrel. Overseas, European stocks were fluctuating around the flat-line, while markets in Asia finished in the black. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.56 percent as most trading houses and automakers recorded gains. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi reversed early losses to end 0.30 percent higher as automakers and some tech stocks declined. The Hang Seng Index tacked on 1 percent, buoyed by strong performances from casinos, energy-related plays and financials. Mainland markets also notched gains. The Shanghai Composite edged up 1 percent and the Shenzhen Composite rose 1.49 percent, with the tech sector among the best-performing in the Chinese markets. On the earnings front, Casey's General Store is expected to report after the bell. Gold prices ticked up amid a softer dollar on Monday, but lacked impetus to push higher weighed by expectations of an increase in interest rates in the United States. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,249.90 an ounce, as of 0751 GMT, after hitting its lowest since July 26 at $1,243.71 last week. U.S. gold futures were 0.3 percent higher at $1,251.70.