Monday July 30th


US stocks set for a flat open as fresh earnings, data roll in

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a muted open on Monday as Wall Street pored through the latest batch of corporate earnings. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 30 points, indicating a gain of 16.94 points at the open. S&P 500 futures pointed to a marginal gain at the open, while Nasdaq 100 futures slipped. Caterpillar reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue, sending its shares up by 3.3 percent in the premarket. The Dow component also raised its full-year earnings outlook. Bloomin' Brands, First Data and Seagate also posted stronger-than-forecast quarterly profits. AK Steel is scheduled to report Monday after the close. In data, pending homes sales are due out at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey at 10:30 a.m. ET. This comes just days after the advance reading of the U.S.' gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter, which showed Friday that the economy had grown by 4.1 percent, in line with estimates. While no speeches by the Federal Reserve are scheduled to take place Monday, investors will be gearing up for the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is due to take place Tuesday and Wednesday. A policy decision is set to be announced Wednesday afternoon and should provide some insight into the performance of the U.S. economy. Elsewhere, concerns surrounding trade will remain in focus, as investors wonder what's next for relations between the U.S. and major economies. President Donald Trump is set to welcome Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy to the White House on Monday, where the two leaders are likely to comment on global conflicts and how to promote economic prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. Asian stocks closed lower on Monday, with investors wary as the Bank of Japan and other central banks hold policy meetings this week. The Nikkei 225 declined 0.74 percent, or 167.91 points, to close at 22,544.84, with falls in utilities, energy and pharmaceuticals leading the losses for the day. The broader Topix closed lower by 0.43 percent, with 21 of its 33 subindexes finishing in negative territory. Elsewhere, the Kospi pared steeper losses from earlier to close lower by 0.06 percent at 2,293.51 as investors digested earnings releases. Chinese stocks also finished the day lower, with the Shanghai Composite reversing moderate gains seen in the morning to end lower by 0.12 percent at 2,870.06. The smaller Shenzhen Composite pulled back by 1.39 percent by the end of the day while the blue-chip CSI 300 index, which tracks the biggest stocks traded on the mainland, finished lower by 0.16 percent. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index came under pressure, giving up 0.55 percent by 3:00 p.m. Oil rose on Monday as investors remained cautious over the supply outlook, although the fallout from global trade tensions limited price gains. October Brent crude futures were last up 62 cents, or nearly 1 percent, at $74.91 a barrel by 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). The September contract expires on Tuesday. U.S. crude futures were up $1.32, or 1.9 percent, at $70.01 a barrel. Gold steadied on Monday ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve this week which could yield clues to the future direction of U.S. interest rates and the dollar, key factors for precious metal prices. Spot gold was down about 0.1 percent at $1,221.93 per ounce at 0909 GMT compared with a one-year low of $1,211.08 hit this month. U.S. gold futures were 0.3 percent lower at $1,219 an ounce.