Wednesday March 1st


Dow futures rise 100 points as Wall Street cheers Trump speech

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday following President Donald Trump's speech to Congress. Dow futures gained more than 100 points, with S&P and Nasdaq futures advancing 13 and 27 points, respectively. The indexes were poised to open at record highs. Markets closed lower in the previous session. The Dow dropped 0.12 percent, breaking the index's 12th straight sessions of gains. Investors are digesting President Trump's economic plans, which he described in his first address to a joint session of Congress. He outlined plans for a $1 trillion dollar infrastructure investment, health care reform, immigration reform and tax relief for businesses and the middle class. Before the bell, Lowe's reported better-than-expected quarterly results. After the bell, look out for reports from Broadcom, Box, Planet Fitness and Shake Shack. There's also lots of data coming out today. Personal income rose 0.4 percent in January, topping expectations, while consumer spending slowed. However, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index jumped 1.9 percent in the 12 months through January, putting inflation very close to the Federal Reserve's target of 2 percent. Construction spending and the ISM manufacturing data is out at 10 a.m., then the Fed's beige book will be released at 2 p.m. New York Fed President William Dudley lifted market expectations for a rate hike Tuesday afternoon, after saying he sees a rate hike in the "relatively near future" in an interview with CNN International. He also said the case for a rate hike has become more compelling. Market expectations for a rate hike on March 15 — when the central bank concludes its next monetary policy meeting — jumped to 67.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. In Europe, stocks are higher following Trump's speech. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose more than 1 percent, with construction and material stocks profiting from the President's infrastructure plans. Asia traded mostly higher Wednesday, following President Donald Trump's address to U.S. lawmakers, which one analyst deemed "high on rhetoric and light on details." In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed up 274.55 points, or 1.44 percent, at 19,393.54. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 0.19 percent in late-afternoon trade. Chinese mainland shares closed up, with the Shanghai composite advancing 4.90 points, or 0.15 percent, to 3,246.63, and the Shenzhen composite gained 7.54 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,008.86. The South Korean market was closed for a public holiday. Meanwhile, oil markets firmed as Brent crude gained 0.39 percent to trade at $56.73 a barrel, while WTI crude rose 0.33 percent to $54.20. Gold fell on Wednesday as the dollar gained after comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials raised expectations of an interest rate hike in March and overshadowed President Donald Trump's first major policy speech to Congress. Spot gold dropped 0.89 percent to $1,237.37 per ounce, heading for a third straight day of losses. The metal hit its highest since Nov. 11 at $1,263.80 on Feb. 27. U.S. gold futures fell 1.28 percent to $1,237.80.