Tuesday January 17th


US stock futures fall; Brexit, Trump inauguration eyed

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday as investors digested key remarks from the top British leader and awaited President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday. British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined plans for the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, saying the U.K. government will put the European Union to a parliamentary vote. Traders also eyed earnings and geared up for President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index rebounded, holding around the flatline after trading lower earlier in the session. The U.S. dollar index traded half a percent lower, following Trump's comments from an interview with The Wall Street Journal published late Monday that said the border adjustment tax plan was "too complicated." The president-elect also said the U.S. dollar was already "too strong," and partly blamed China for the greenback's strength. Dow futures briefly fell 100 points in early morning trade ET. U.S. stock markets were closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. On the earnings front Tuesday, Morgan Stanley and UnitedHealth posted better-than-expected quarterly results before the bell. CSX and United Continental are among companies due to report after the bell. In Europe, the World Economic Forum in Davos is underway. Xi Jinping, the first Chinese president to attend the gathering, said in a speech that "no one would emerge as a winner in a global trade war." Xi also said China has no intention of trying to boost trade by devaluing the yuan or entering into a currency war. The Shanghai composite closed up 0.17 percent. The Nikkei 225 closed nearly 1.5 percent lower. Pound sterling slumped to three-month lows in over the weekend as traders worried over media reports that the British government is prepared to make a "hard" exit from the European Union. As the week rolls on, all eyes will be on Trump's inauguration, with markets anticipating what he will say when he speaks to the nation as president for the first time. On the data front, the January Empire State Manufacturing index came in positive. Oil prices rose on Tuesday, supported by a falling U.S. dollar and Saudi Arabia's assertion it would adhere to OPEC's commitment to cut output. Gains were capped by rising U.S. production and skepticism that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as a whole would comply with its commitments to reduce supplies. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were up 66 cents at $56.52 per barrel at 8:29 a.m. ET (1329 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up 77 cents at $53.14 per barrel. Gold jumped more than 1 percent to its highest in nearly eight weeks on Tuesday, as excerpts of a speech to be given later by Britain's prime minister pointed to a definitive exit from the European Union. Safe-haven assets such as gold, the Japanese yen and U.S. Treasuries benefited as investors sought refuge from the uncertainty of what a "hard Brexit" would mean for global markets. Spot gold rose 0.94 percent to $1,214.09 per ounce, near highs last seen on Nov. 23. U.S. gold futures were up 1.47 percent at $1,213.8 per ounce. The dollar, against a basket of major currencies, fell 0.3 percent.