Monday October 16th


Futures point to a slightly positive open as investors gear up for Charles Schwab, Netflix earnings

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open Monday, as investors turned their attention to upcoming corporate earnings reports. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 27 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 2 points and 10.75 points, respectively. Major earnings are set to dominate discussion on Wall Street, as Charles Schwab and Netflix get ready to post their latest financial figures. Looking to data, the Empire State Manufacturing survey jumped to 30.2 in October from 24.2 in September. Looking to the U.S. Federal Reserve, investors are likely to be digesting the latest comments from the central bank's chair, Janet Yellen, who delivered remarks Sunday. In spite of subdued inflation, Yellen said in Washington that the U.S. economy remains robust and the strength of the labor markets makes the case for gradual increases in interest rates, Reuters reported. In commodities, crude futures rose in early trade, as concerns surrounding potential new sanctions on Iran by the U.S., as well as conflict taking place in Iraq, boosted prices. At 8:36 a.m. ET, U.S. crude traded just around $52.22 per barrel, while Brent hovered around $58.25. In the latest surrounding politics, senior U.S. administration officials said over the weekend that the States remained committed to being part of the Iran nuclear accord for the time being, in spite of President Donald Trump's warnings that he might withdraw, according to Reuters. Overseas, European stocks were flat, while markets in Asia closed on a mostly positive note. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed for a tenth straight day, extending gains once more to touch a fresh 21-year high. Mainland markets were mixed: The Shanghai Composite reversed gains to edge down 0.35 percent to close at 3,378.8045 and the Shenzhen Composite fell 1.515 percent to end at 2,005.9458. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, meanwhile, soared 0.66 percent by 3:10 p.m. HK/SIN. Gold steadied above a key psychological level of $1,300 on Monday, buoyed by worries over Iran, while a firmer dollar weighed on sentiment. Spot gold was unchanged at $1,304.69 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up 0.16 percent at $1,306.70 per ounce.