By Investors Hub
The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Tuesday as the spotlight shifts to some upbeat corporate earnings news. Corporate news has recently taken a backseat to developments on the trade front but is likely to attract attention as earnings season ramps up in the coming days.
Financial giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM) may help lead an early advance on Wall Street after reporting third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.
Shares of UnitedHealth (UNH) are also likely to see initial strength after the health insurer reported better than expected third quarter results and raised its full-year guidance.
Citigroup (C) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also reported third quarter earnings that beat estimates, while Goldman Sachs (GS) may move to the downside after reporting earnings that missed expectations.
Following the rally seen to close out last week, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Monday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Eventually, the major averages ended the session modestly lower. The Dow dipped 29.23 points or 0.1 percent to 26,787.36, the Nasdaq edged down 8.39 points or 0.1 percent to 8,048.65 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.12 points or 0.1 percent to 2,966.15.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid light volume due to the Columbus Day holiday as well as renewed uncertainty about a trade deal with China.
President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. and China have reached a “very substantial phase one deal,” although reports suggest China wants another round of talks before signing the agreement.
A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that China may send a delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He to finalize a written deal that could be signed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month in Chile.
Another person told Bloomberg that China wants Trump to also scrap a planned tariff hike in December in addition to the hike scheduled for this week.
Trump said the deal includes up to $40 to $50 billion in Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products as well as Chinese concessions on intellectual property and financial services.
In exchange for the concessions by China, the U.S. agreed to hold off on an increase in tariffs originally scheduled for this week.
Trump claimed in a tweet on Sunday that China has agreed to immediately start buying large quantities of U.S. agricultural products, but the Chinese have not followed through on similar pledges in the past.
A light day on the U.S. economic front also kept traders on the sidelines, although reports on retail sales, housing starts and industrial production are likely to attract attention in the coming days.
Most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster close by the broader markets.
Renewed uncertainty about the U.S.-China trade deal contributed to a sharp pullback by steel stocks, however, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index slumping by 2 percent.
Significant weakness was also visible among natural gas stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index.
Chemical, tobacco, and utilities stocks also moved to the downside on the day, while some strength was visible among computer hardware stocks.
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