Wednesday November 8th


Dow set to cool its heels after another record close

U.S. stocks futures on Wednesday pointed to little change at the open, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track for a pause after it edged up to another record close. Investors are tracking another dose of earnings reports, as well as lawmakers’ efforts to pass tax reform and President Donald Trump’s trip to Asia amid tensions with North Korea. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures inched down by 26 points, or 0.1%, to 23,475, while S&P 500 futures gave up 3.55 point, or 0.2%, at 2,584.50. Nasdaq-100 futures shed 3.25 point, or less than 0.1%, to 6,312.75. On Tuesday, the Dow DJIA, +0.04%  edged up to a fresh all-time closing high, while the S&P SPX, -0.02%  and Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.27%  pulled back from record closes, with some analysts blaming the declines on worries about the tax legislation working its way through Congress. The three gauges are up between 16% and 26% for the year as of Tuesday’s close, helped by factors such as an expanding U.S. economy, growing corporate profits and bets that the Trump administration will deliver tax cuts and other business-friendly measures. “On a week light on tier-one economic data, the focus is on how tax reform is progressing,” said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note. “However, in negotiations to try and sweeten the bill, there are suggestions that there could be somewhat of a climb-down as the Republicans could delay the cuts to corporation tax by twelve months.” There are no top-tier U.S. economic releases or Federal Reserve speeches expected on Wednesday. European stocks SXXP, -0.23% traded mostly lower, while Asian markets largely closed with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.1 percent at 22,913.82 a day after the benchmark index hit a 26-year high. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi edged up 0.27 percent to end at 2,552.4 after trading flat earlier in the day. Greater China markets were narrowly mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.1 percent by 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN. Mainland markets gave up gains made during early afternoon trade to close mostly flat on the day. The Shanghai Composite added 0.04 percent to end at 3,414.91 and the Shenzhen Composite closed 0.05 percent higher at 2,013.71. Oil prices steadied on Wednesday as Chinese crude imports fell to a one-year low, but losses were offset by investor caution over rising political tensions in the Middle East. Traders said they were closely watching escalating tensions in the Middle East, especially between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Brent futures fell 24 cents to $63.45 a barrel at 7:55 a.m. ET (1155 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 15 cents at $57.05 a barrel. Gold rose on Wednesday as the dollar eased on expectations of possible delays in long-awaited U.S. tax reforms, but a looming U.S. interest rate increase in December kept a lid on gains. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,280.91 per ounce as of 8:30 a.m. ET. It fell about 0.5 percent on Tuesday.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.5 percent to $1,281.90 an ounce.