Tuesday May 16th


Futures point to a higher open after stocks hit records

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday as Wall Street looked to build on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq's record highs. The S&P and Nasdaq ended Monday's session at 2,402.32 and 6,149.67, respectively, and also set new intraday highs. Traders on Tuesday will be looking at fresh data while digesting news that U.S. President Donald Trump has revealed classified information to Russian authorities. On the data front, U.S. housing starts totaled 1.172 million in April, well below the expected 1.26 million. April's industrial production numbers are also due at 9:15 a.m. ET. On the earnings front, Home Depot posted better-than-expected quarterly results, sending the stock higher by 2 percent in the premarket. Urban Outfitters and Weibo are also due to report but after the market close. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.11 percent lower on Tuesday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.75 percent higher and the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.25 percent higher. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $52.24 a barrel on Tuesday, up 0.81 percent, while U.S. crude was around $49.25 barrel, up 0.82 percent. The International Energy Agency reported Tuesday that the oil market is on course to reach a supply-demand balance this year. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar has dropped to its lowest level since the election in November this Tuesday. At the same time, the euro is trading above $1.10 and the sterling is close to $1.30. Gold prices extended gains for a fourth day on Tuesday as political troubles in the United States dented the dollar while a more upbeat scenario in Europe lifted the euro. "The dollar is weak today, which has helped precious metals across the board," said Carsten Menke, analyst at Julius Baer in Zurich, saying the move in the greenback was a combination of events in the United States and Europe. Spot gold was up 0.41 percent at $1,235.30 per ounce. On Monday, it hit $1,237.26, its highest since May 4. U.S. gold futures for June delivery gained 0.41 percent to $1,235 an ounce.