Tuesday December 20th


US futures point to higher open amidst low volume trade, earnings in focus

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday in low-volume trade ahead of a slew of earnings. On the earnings front, CarMax, Darden Restaurants, FactSet and Blackberry all reported before the bell. FedEx, Nike and Steelcase are due to report after the bell. There are no major U.S. economic data releases scheduled for Tuesday. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.35 percent higher on Tuesday morning. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.5 percent lower, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.53 percent higher. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $55.40 a barrel on Tuesday, up 0.87 percent, while U.S. WTI crude was around $52.33 a barrel, up 0.7 percent. Oil prices were fairly muted as investors appeared to be unwinding positions in advance of the holiday season and in preparation for a new calendar year. Gold fell on Tuesday as the dollar rose and investors sold on expectations of stronger global economic growth and higher U.S. interest rates, while deadly incidents in Turkey and Germany failed to spur safe-haven buying. Spot gold was down 0.8 percent to $1,129.88 an ounce at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Last week it fell to $1,122.35, its lowest since early February. U.S. gold futures slipped 1 percent to $1,131.40 per ounce.