Futures Pointing to Roughly Flat Open on Wall Street
By Investors Hub
The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a roughly flat opening on Wednesday following the strength seen in the previous session.
Traders may be reluctant to make any significant moves amid continued uncertainty about President Donald Trump’s policy agenda following the failure of the Republican health care bill.
Developments in the U.K. are also in focus after the British government sent a notification letter to European Council President Donald Tusk formally beginning the country’s exit from the European Union.
After initially showing a lack of direction, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Tuesday. With the upward move on the day, the Dow snapped an eight-session losing streak.
The major averages ended the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 150.52 points or 0.7 percent to 20,701.50, the Nasdaq rose 34.77 points or 0.6 percent to 5,875.14 and the S&P 500 advanced 16.98 points or 0.7 percent to 2,358.57.
The strength on Wall Street came following the release of a report from the Conference Board showing an unexpected improvement in consumer confidence in the month of March.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 125.6 in March from a revised 116.1 in February.
The increase surprised economists, who had expected the index to dip to 113.8 from the 114.8 originally reported for the previous month.
With the unexpected increase, the consumer confidence index climb to its highest level since reaching 128.6 in December of 2000.
“Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions improved considerably,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers also expressed much greater optimism regarding the short-term outlook for business, jobs and personal income prospects.”
She added, “Thus, consumers feel current economic conditions have improved over the recent period, and their renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months.”
Energy stocks showed a strong move to the upside on the day, benefiting from an increase by the price of crude oil. Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index jumped by 2.1 percent, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index surged up by 1.9 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil & Gas Index climbed by 1.3 percent.
Transportation, steel, and financial stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.