Tuesday September 26th


Futures point to higher open; tech poised for recovery

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open Tuesday as technology stocks looked set to recover from Monday's sell-off. Nasdaq 100 futures rose and the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) rose about 0.4 percent in premarket trading. Stocks closed lower Monday after a ratcheting up of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and a sharp decline in information technology stocks, which posted their worst day since August 17. North Korea's Foreign minister said Monday that one tweet from President Donald Trump over the weekend was a declaration of war. Pyongyang said it now had the right to take countermeasures, which could include shooting down U.S. bombers even if they are not in North Korea's air space. The U.S. administration responded saying that such an accusation was "absurd." On the data front Tuesday, investors will be watching for flash services PMIs (Purchasing Managers' Index) due at 9:45 a.m. ET, new home sales numbers for August out at 10 a.m. ET and consumer confidence levels, also out at 10 a.m. ET. On the earnings front, Darden Restaurants reported adjusted quarterly earnings that matched estimates, while revenue topped forecasts. Carnival is also scheduled to report ahead of the open, while Nike is set to report after the bell. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.07 percent. Oil traded lower after hitting multi-month highs Monday. U.S. crude oil traded just below $52 a barrel. Asian markets were pressured in Tuesday trade, following declines on Wall Street overnight, as the war of words between North Korea and the U.S. escalated. Japan's Nikkei 225 sank 0.33 percent, or 67.39 points, to close at 20,330.19, after the yen strengthened overnight as investors focused on North Korea. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi declined 0.26 percent to finish the session at 2,374.32 as geopolitical tensions weighed, although the index was off lows touched earlier in the session. Greater China markets were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was off 0.06 percent by 3:07 p.m. HK/SIN. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite inched higher by 0.07 percent to close at 3,343.8274 and the Shenzhen Composite was nearly unchanged, adding 0.007 percent to end at 1,964.0305. Gold eased under pressure from the dollar on Tuesday with investors booking profits after rising tensions between North Korea and United States pushed the metal to a one-week high. Spot gold shed 0.6 percent to $1,301.11 per ounce, after earlier marking its highest since Sept. 20 at $1,313.54. It gained more than 1 percent the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,308 per ounce. The precious metal was hit by profit-taking but relations between North Korea and the U.S continued to deteriorate, said Commerzbank commodity analyst Carsten Fritsch.