Monday July 24th


Earnings set to dominate on Wall Street as Alphabet, Hasbro, Halliburton report

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Monday, as investors prepared themselves for another week of bumper earnings reports. Hasbro, Halliburton and Illinois Tool Works are some of the major companies that reported corporate earnings before the bell. Google-parent Alphabet is set to report after the bell. Sticking with releases, market-watchers will be on the lookout for key economic data including the Flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) due out at 9:45 a.m. ET, followed by existing homes sales data, due out at 10 a.m. ET. Meanwhile commodities will also be up for discussion, as investors turn their attention to a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC ministers, which may address the rising output seen from Libya and Nigeria as of late. At 8:23 a.m. ET on Monday, oil prices eked out gains with U.S. crude hovering around $46.05, while Brent stood around $48.40 per barrel. Investors will also be keeping a close eye on politics, in case there's any noise coming out of the White House on Monday. Last Friday, Sean Spicer resigned as the White House's press secretary after he opposed the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be taking over as press secretary, Scaramucci announced last week. In Europe, bourses were under pressure in morning trade, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade on a relatively mixed note. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 pared some of its losses to close down 124.08 points, or 0.62 percent, at 19,975.67, while the Topix index closed down 8.42 points, or 0.52 percent, at 1,621.57. Across the Korea Strait, the Kospi retraced early losses to close nearly flat at 2,451.53. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai composite bucked the downward trend to close up 12.5 points, or 0.39 percent, at 3,250.49. The Shenzhen composite reversed early losses to tack on 8.85 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,854.66. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index traded up 0.45 percent in late afternoon trade.Gold prices hit a one-month high on Monday as a weaker dollar and political turmoil in the United States boosted sentiment ahead of the Fed's monetary policy meeting later this week. Spot gold was was up 0.2 percent at $1,256.36 an ounce. It hit a 4 week high of $1,257.18 an ounce in early trade, having risen 2.1 percent last week. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were up 0.1 percent at $1,256.40.