Tuesday May 23rd


US politics, data and oil set to take center stage on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, as investors geared up for more news out of Donald Trump's first overseas trip as president, while keeping an eye on the moves in oil. As part of his first foreign trip abroad, President Trump is currently in the Middle East where he is expected to help revive the stalled peace process between Israel and Palestine. After Trump touched down in Israel on Monday he said there was a "rare opportunity" now to bring security, stability and peace to the Middle East region and its citizens. On Tuesday, the president traveled to Bethlehem to meet the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. After traveling to parts of the Middle East, the U.S. president will then go on to visit places in Europe. AutoZone and Toll Brothers released their latest earnings reports, while investors will be on the lookout for data, including new home sales and the Richmond Fed survey, both slated to come out at 10 a.m. ET. IHS Markit Flash US Composite PMI data will also be released at 9:45 a.m. ET. In the central bank space, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker are set to speak on Tuesday. Harker will discuss the economic outlook at the Harvard Club of New York City, in New York. With members of OPEC set to meet in Vienna this Thursday, investors are keeping a watchful eye on the oil market this week. On Tuesday, U.S. crude was trading in the red, hovering around $51.12 at 9 a.m. ET, while Brent stood around $53.86 per barrel. Prices fell after President Trump proposed the sale of half the U.S.'s strategic oil reserves, according to Reuters. In Europe, bourses were trading slightly higher, however, a suspected terrorist attack in the U.K. cast uncertainty over stocks. At least 22 people have died, along with several injured, after a blast took place at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K., on Monday night. Meanwhile Asia-Pacific markets finished trade mixed to mostly lower, as news of the deadly bombing weighed on investor sentiment. On Monday, U.S. equities finished higher. The Nikkei 225 closed 0.33 percent, or 65 points, lower at 19,613.28 on Tuesday, while the ASX 200 shed 0.19 percent, or 11.005 points, to finish the session at 5,760.2. South Korea's benchmark Kospi index closed in the green, ending higher by 0.33 percent, or 7.71 points, at 2,311.74. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index reversed earlier gains to trade lower by 0.22 percent by 3:00 p.m. Mainland China markets closed the session lower, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.45 percent, or 13.9514 points, at 3,061.7242, and the Shenzhen Composite tumbling 2.12 percent, or 38.7526 points, to close at 1.789.4676. Gold was little changed on Tuesday as the dollar steadied near 6-1/2 month lows and traders locked in profits following two weeks of gains, shrugging off heightened political risk following a deadly suicide attack in Britain. Spot gold inched up 0.06 percent at $1,260.87 per ounce having gained some 3.6 percent since May 9, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.06 percent to $1,260.70 an ounce.