Futures Pointing to Slightly Lower Open on Wall Street
By Investors Hub
The major US index futures are pointing to a slightly lower opening on Tuesday following the modest strength seen in the previous session.
Profit taking may lead to initial weakness on Wall Street after two days of gains, although trading activity may be somewhat subdued.
Traders may stick to the sidelines ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semiannual testimony before Congress in the coming days.
Stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading session on Monday after initially showing a lack of direction. While the Dow ended the day roughly flat, the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed in positive territory.
The Dow edged down 5.82 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 21,408.52, but the Nasdaq climbed 23.31 points or 0.4 percent to 6,176.39 and the S&P 500 inched up 2.25 points or 0.1 percent to 2,427.43.
Traders seemed somewhat reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of Yellen’s congressional testimony.
Yellen is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday and before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
The comments from the Fed Chief could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the central bank’s monetary policy meeting later this month.
Remarks by several other Fed officials may also attract attention this week along with reports on retail sales, industrial production and producer and consumer prices.
The roughly flat close by the Dow came as a steep drop by shares of Wal-Mart (WMT) offset strong gains by Nike (NKE) and Visa (V).
Gold stocks showed a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 2.8 percent. The index bounced off its lowest closing level in six months. The rebound by gold stocks came amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.
Considerable strength was also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent advance by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) and Gerdau (GGB) posted standout gains.
Energy stocks also turned in a strong performance, moving higher along with the price of crude oil. Semiconductor and internet stocks also saw some strength on the day, while notable weakness was visible among biotechnology stocks.