Monday February 27th


US futures point to lower open as record rally pauses

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Monday, as stocks took a breather from their recent record run. The Dow Jones industrial average finished marginally higher last week, recording its 11th straight record close. This is the index's longest winning streak since 1992. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished marginally higher. The Nasdaq is currently on a five-week winning streak. Futures point to a flat opening for the Nasdaq and S&P. In earnings, American Tower and Vimpelcom are among the companies that reported results before the bell. In the afternoon, Priceline, Workday and ZTO Express are set to post earnings. On the economic data front, durable goods orders rose 1.8 percent in January, while pending home sales are due at 10 am ET. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.28 percent. Asia markets fell on Monday, with sterling tumbling nearly 0.4 percent to the dollar. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 176.07 points, or 0.91 percent, at 19,107.47, with exporters likely under pressure from a relatively stronger yen, which traded at 112.21 to the dollar at 3:43 p.m. HK/SIN, strengthening from levels above 112.80 last week. Earlier, the yen hit a session high of 111.89 against the greenback. In South Korea, the Kospi closed down 8.60 points, or 0.41 percent, at 2,085.52. Australia's benchmark ASX 200 finished down 14.80 points, or 0.26 percent, at 5,724.18. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.26 percent in late-afternoon trade, while Chinese mainland shares finished lower. The Shanghai composite fell 24.26 points, or 0.75 percent, to 3,229.17, while the Shenzhen composite was down 11.60 points, or 0.58 percent, at 1,988.77. Meanwhile in oil markets, Brent crude was up 54 cents to $56.53 a barrel on Monday, while WTI crude was up 47 cents to $54.53 a barrel. Gold was softer on Monday, though still close to the 3-1/2 month highs hit last week as investors waited for President Donald Trump to outline plans for tax cuts, infrastructure spending, levies on imports and foreign policy. Spot gold was down 0.05 percent at $1,255.95 per ounce. The metal hit its highest since Nov. 11 at $1,260.10 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.13 percent at $1,256.70.