Updated: 11-21-2017

The Market at 04:30PM ET
Dow: +160.50… | Nasdaq: +71.76… | S&P: +16.89…
NASDAQ Vol: 1.95 bln… Adv: 1398… Dec: 1015…
NYSE Vol: 828.0 mln… Adv: 2013… Dec: 938…

Moving the Market

Upbeat tone overseas helps fuel bullish bias on Wall Street

Heavily-weighted technology and health care sectors outperform

Sector Watch
Strong: Technology, Health Care
Weak: Financials, Energy, Materials, Consumer Staples, Utilities, Telecom Services

04:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equities sprung to new record highs on Tuesday, with technology shares leading the charge.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq (+1.1%) outpaced the S&P 500 (+0.7%) and the Dow (+0.7%), but all three major stock indices finished at fresh record highs. The small-cap Russell 2000 (+1.0%) also posted a new all-time high, marking its first record close since October 5.

Trading volume was light once again on Tuesday and will likely remain that way throughout the abbreviated holiday week, creating the potential for outsized moves in either direction.

While there wasn't a particular catalyst to credit for the unexpected wave of buying, a positive performance from equity markets overseas certainly contributed to Wall Street's bullish bias. Indices in the Asia-Pacific region finished Tuesday broadly higher, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.9%) pacing the advance.

Stocks were strong in Europe as well, sending the Euro Stoxx 50 higher by 0.5%, despite continued uncertainty stemming from the collapse of coalition talks in Germany. On a related note, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she would prefer new elections rather than trying to form a minority government.

With the positive tone having already been set in both Europe and Asia, U.S. equities followed suit, opening Tuesday's session in the green. The major U.S. averages extended their opening gains for the first hour of trading, but then began a sideways trend that carried them to the closing bell.

The S&P 500's technology sector (+1.2%) was strong from the jump, helped by upbeat performances from mega-cap names like Apple (AAPL 173.14, +3.16), Microsoft (MSFT 83.72, +1.19), Facebook (FB 181.86, +3.12), and Alphabet (GOOG 1034.49, +16.11)--all of which added at least 1.4%.

Following Tuesday's rally, the technology sector has added 38.6% year to date, more than double the S&P 500's advance of 16.1%.

The health care sector (+0.9%) also outperformed on Tuesday, led by medical device company Medtronic (MDT 82.66, +3.76), which jumped 4.8%. MDT shares advanced after the company reported better-than-expected profits for its fiscal second quarter and reaffirmed its guidance for the fiscal year.

On the downside, AT&T (T 34.33, -0.31) struggled, losing 0.9%, after the U.S. Department of Justice announced its decision to file a lawsuit against the company's acquisition of Time Warner (TWX 89.56, +1.85). Conversely, TWX shares added 2.1%. The DOJ's decision was announced on Monday afternoon.

The telecom services group (-0.5%) was the only sector to finish in the red, but the heavily-weighted financial space (+0.3%) underperformed as the yield curve continued to flatten--which doesn't bode well for the earnings prospects of lenders. 

U.S. Treasuries ended Tuesday on a mixed note, cutting the 2yr-10-yr spread to 59 basis points. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note slipped one basis point to 2.36%, while the 2-yr yield climbed two basis points to 1.77%.

Reviewing Tuesday's economic data, which was limited to Existing Home Sales for October:

  • Existing home sales increased 2.0% in October to an annualized rate of 5.48 million units (Briefing.com consensus 5.42 million). The September reading was revised to 5.37 million from 5.39 million.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that notable supply constraints remain, which will continue to act as a drag on overall sales due to the limited inventory and the high prices on available inventory that is crimping affordability.

On Wednesday, investors will receive a number of economic reports, including the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index at 7:00 ET, weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 239K) at 8:30 ET, October Durable Goods Orders (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%) also at 8:30 ET, and the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for November (Briefing.com consensus 97.9) at 10:00 ET.

Also of note, the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday at 14:00 ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +27.5% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +19.4% YTD
  • S&P 500 +16.1% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +11.9% YTD
Dow: +160.50… | Nasdaq: +71.76… | S&P: +16.89…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1398/1015. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2013/938.

03:35PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Commodities end the day higher: 

  • Overall, commodities, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index, are currently up +0.33% at 86.4733
  • Dollar index is currently down 0.11% at 93.98
  • Dec WTI Crude is up 0.73% on the day.
    • API inventory data to be released at 4:30 PM ET
    • Futures settle $0.41 higher to $56.83/barrel.
  • In other energy, Dec Natural Gas settled down $0.03 at $3.02/MMBtu
  • On the metals:
    • Dec Gold gained $6.00 to settle at $1281.30/oz, while Dec silver gained $0.13 to $16.97/oz
    • Dec Copper gained $0.04 to $3.13/lb
  • Finally, agriculture:
    • Dec Corn settled unchanged at $3.45/bu.
    • Dec Soy settled down $0.005 at $9.885/bu.
    • Dec wheat settled flat at $4.25/bu.
Dow: +150.79… | Nasdaq: +65.97… | S&P: +16.04…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1624/991. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1991/963.

02:55PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (+0.7%), the Nasdaq (+1.0%), the Dow (+0.7%), and the Russell 2000 (+0.8%) are all on course to settle Tuesday at fresh record highs.

Looking ahead, investors will receive earnings from several notable companies following today's closing bell, including Salesforce (CRM 108.51, +1.14), HP (HPQ 22.45, +0.33), and GameStop (GME 16.44, 0.00). Then, for the rest of the week, the only notable company on the docket is Deere (DE 139.31, +2.39), which will report tomorrow morning.

As for economic data, Wednesday will feature a number of releases, including the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index at 7:00 ET, weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 239K) at 8:30 ET, October Durable Goods Orders (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%) also at 8:30 ET, and the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for November (Briefing.com consensus 97.9) at 10:00 ET.

Also of note, the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday at 14:00 ET.

Dow: +168.80… | Nasdaq: +68.51… | S&P: +17.48…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1698/977. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2016/913.

02:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equities continue to drift sideways this afternoon. The Nasdaq is still outperforming, showing a gain of 1.0%.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average (+0.9%) is trading a tick above the broader market, trimming its November loss to 1.6%. Within the DJTA, 19 of 20 components are trading higher, with Alaska Air (ALK 65.90, -0.20) being the only exception. Seattle-based Expeditors International (EXPD 60.38, +1.29) is the top performer, sporting a gain of 2.1%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500's industrial sector, which houses transportation names, currently holds a gain of 0.6%. The vast majority of the sector's components are trading in the green, but not General Electric (GE 17.86, -0.12), which is down 0.7% and on track for its fifth loss in six sessions.

GE shares have dropped 43.5% this year as the 125-year-old company struggles to restructure its business. 

Dow: +163.77… | Nasdaq: +65.05… | S&P: +17.30…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1688/1002. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1984/936.

02:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices continue to trend sideways at record highs, with the S&P 500 sporting a gain of 0.7%.

Ten sectors are trading in the green this afternoon--technology (+1.2%), health care (+1.1%), industrials (+0.7%), consumer discretionary (+0.6%), materials (+0.6%), real estate (+0.5%), consumer staples (+0.4%), utilities (+0.4%), financials (+0.3%), and energy (+0.2%)--while just one trades in the red--telecom services (-0.3%).

The influential financial group has been struggling to keep pace with the broader market today, continuing its underwhelming November performance; the group currently holds a month-to-date loss of 1.0%, while the S&P 500 has added 1.0% over the same period of time.

Within the financial space, heavyweights like Bank of America (BAC 26.74, 0.00) and Goldman Sachs (GS 238.02, -0.11) are trading near their unchanged marks.

Dow: +180.54… | Nasdaq: +70.09… | S&P: +18.46…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1755/972. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2025/884.

01:35PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major U.S. indices are holding firm in positive territory at this time as stocks drift sideways in afternoon trading.

A look inside the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows that Apple (AAPL 173.14, +3.16), 3M (MMM 234.99, +3.50), & Microsoft (MSFT 83.63, +1.10) are outperforming amid broad market gains.

Conversely, Wal-Mart (WMT 76.85, -0.63) is the worst-performing Dow component as shares continue to cool off from last week's earnings-driven surge.

On the heels of today's rally, the DJIA is now up 1% this month.

Dow: +179.82… | Nasdaq: +64.84… | S&P: +16.85…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1736/985. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1995/897 mln.

01:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks have jumped to new record highs today, with technology shares pacing the advance.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 1.0% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 sport respective gains of 0.8% and 0.7%. The small-cap Russell 2000 is also solidly higher, showing a gain of 0.7%. All four of the aforementioned indices have either hit, or are currently trading at, fresh intraday records.

Technology shares have been strong since the opening bell. Mega-cap names like Apple (AAPL 173.36, +3.38), Microsoft (MSFT 83.61, +1.08), Facebook (FB 181.43, +2.69), and Alphabet (GOOG 1030.72, +12.34) all hold gains of more than 1.0%. The S&P 500's technology sector is higher by 1.1%, extending its 2017 gain to 38.5%.

Meanwhile, the health care sector (+0.9%) is also outperforming today, hovering just behind the technology group at the top of the sector standings. Within the group, medical device company Medtronic (MDT 82.92, +4.05) is among the top performers, up 5.1%, after reporting better-than-expected profits for its fiscal second quarter.

As for the remaining sectors, almost all holds gains, but none trade ahead of the S&P 500.

On the downside, the telecom services group (-0.1%) trades in negative territory. Wireless giant AT&T (T 34.65, +0.01) is hovering at its flat line after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the company's acquisition of Time Warner (TWX 89.71, +2.00) on Monday afternoon. Conversely, TWX shares are higher by 2.3%.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries are trading mixed, but have continued the curve-flattening trend; the 2yr-10yr spread is down to 60 basis points from 62 bps at yesterday's close. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note is flat at 2.37% while the 2-yr yield is up three basis points at 1.78%.

Elsewhere, equities had a solid day in Europe, sending the Euro Stoxx 50 higher by 0.5%, despite the uncertainty stemming from the collapse of coalition talks in Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she would prefer new elections rather than trying to form a minority government.

Indices in the Asia-Pacific region also moved higher on Tuesday, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.9%) leading the charge.

Reviewing today's economic data, which was limited to Existing Home Sales for October:

  • Existing home sales increased 2.0% in October to an annualized rate of 5.48 million units (Briefing.com consensus 5.42 million). The September reading was revised to 5.37 million from 5.39 million.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that notable supply constraints remain, which will continue to act as a drag on overall sales due to the limited inventory and the high prices on available inventory that is crimping affordability.
Dow: +176.67… | Nasdaq: +62.95… | S&P: +16.64…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1777/954. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2023/860.

12:25PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages haven't changed since the last update.

Nearly all sectors are trading in the green this afternoon, with technology (+1.1%) and health care (+1.1%) pacing the advance. However, some groups have struggled to keep pace with the broader market, including the energy sector, which is higher by just 0.3%.

The energy group's relatively weak performance comes amid an increase in the price of crude oil, which would typically help elevate energy shares. West Texas Intermediate crude futures are currently higher by 0.6%, hovering at a price of $56.76 per barrel.

Elsewhere, equities had a solid day in Europe, sending the Euro Stoxx 50 higher by 0.5%, despite the uncertainty stemming from the collapse of coalition talks in Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she would prefer new elections rather than trying to form a minority government. Germany's DAX finished Tuesday with a gain of 0.6%.

Dow: +177.91… | Nasdaq: +64.52… | S&P: +17.06…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1745/993. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1983/873.

11:55AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages are trading near their recent levels; the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.8%.

Within the Dow, Apple (AAPL 173.55, +3.57) is the top performer, followed from a distance by 3M (MMM 235.24, +3.75); the two companies sport respective gains of 2.1% and 1.6%. On the downside, Wal-Mart (WMT 96.74, -0.74) is the worst performer with a loss of 0.8% and on track for its second loss in four sessions.

At its current level, the Dow is poised to close at a new all-time high for the first time since November 8.

Dow: +177.81… | Nasdaq: +68.73… | S&P: +17.16…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1846/900. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2091/782.

11:25AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equities continue hovering at fresh all-time highs. The S&P 500 is sporting a gain of 0.7%.

The consumer staples sector (+0.4%) is struggling to keep pace with the broader market. Within the group, Campbell Soup (CPB 46.27, -3.65) is down 7.3% after missing earnings estimates for its fiscal first quarter and lowering its profit outlook for 2018. However, Hormel Foods (HRL 35.13, +1.73) is up 5.2% after beating quarterly earnings and revenue estimates.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries are mixed in another curve-flattening trade, cutting the 2yr-10yr spread to 60 basis points. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note is down one basis point at 2.36%, while the 2-yr yield is up one basis point at 1.76%.

Dow: +169.76… | Nasdaq: +65.76… | S&P: +16.36…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1894/864. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2060/763.

10:55AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks have climbed to new all-time highs this morning, with technology shares pacing the advance. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 1.0%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow hold gains of 0.7% apiece.

The S&P 500's technology sector is up 1.1% amid broad strength. Mega-cap names like Apple (AAPL 173.24, +3.24), Microsoft (MSFT 83.59, +1.06), and Facebook (FB 181.12, +2.40) show particular strength, adding between 1.3% and 1.9%. Meanwhile, Salesforce (CRM 108.84, +1.47) is up 1.4% ahead of tonight's earnings release.

Health care shares also trade ahead of the broader market. Medical device company Medtronic (MDT 83.06, +4.16) is among the top performers, up 5.3%, after reporting better-than-expected profits for its fiscal second quarter. The S&P 500's health care sector is up 0.9%.

Dow: +162.14… | Nasdaq: +64.54… | S&P: +16.94…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1958/792. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2142/655.

10:30AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Commodities begin the day higher: 

  • Overall, commodities, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index, are currently higher 0.44% at 86.5701
  • Dollar index is currently down 0.16% at 93.93
  • Dec WTI crude is up 1.1% on the day.
    • API inventory data to be released at 4:30 pm ET. 
    • Futures are $0.62 higher to $57.04/barrel.
  • In other energy, Dec natural gas is unchanged at $3.05/MMBtu
  • Metals:
    • Dec gold gained $6.80 and trades at $1282.10/oz, while Dec silver gained $0.15 to $16.99/oz
    • Dec copper gained $0.03 to $3.12/lb
  • Finally, agriculture:
    • Dec corn is down $0.01 at $3.44/bu.
    • Dec soy is down $0.03 at $9.875/bu.
    • Dec wheat is up $0.03 at $4.25/bu.
Dow: +157.63… | Nasdaq: +64.10… | S&P: +16.44…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1988/767. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2130/647.

10:00AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices have extended their opening gains, with the S&P 500 now trading higher by 0.5%.

Just in, existing home sales increased 2.0% in October to an annualized rate of 5.48 million units (Briefing.com consensus 5.42 million). The September reading was revised to 5.37 million from 5.39 million.

Dow: +133.28… | Nasdaq: +56.83… | S&P: +13.45…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1890/811. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1968/734.

09:40AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major U.S. indices are trading higher in the opening minutes of today's session, with the Nasdaq (+0.6%) touching a new record high. The S&P 500 is up 0.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average holds a gain of 0.5%.

Almost all of the 11 sectors are trading in the green this morning, with the top-weighted technology space (+0.7%) showing relative strength. Within the tech group, Apple (AAPL 171.74, +1.79) is among the strongest components, sporting a gain of 1.0%. The influential health care group (+0.7%) also trades comfortably ahead of the broader market.

On the flip side, the telecom services sector is down 0.1%. Wireless giant AT&T (T 34.57, -0.07) is lower by 0.2% after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the company's acquisition of Time Warner (TWX 88.73, +1.01). TWX shares are up 1.2%.

Dow: +121.14… | Nasdaq: +37.30… | S&P: +11.45…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1635/1021. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1984/642.

09:12AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +10.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +35.10.

The U.S. equity market is on course for a solid start to today's session as the S&P 500 futures trade 11 points, or 0.4%, above fair value. 

There isn't a specific catalyst for Wall Street's upbeat tone, but a positive performance from equities in both the Asia-Pacific region and Europe certainly hasn't hurt. 

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region finished Tuesday on a positive note, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.9%) leading the charge. Meanwhile, the Euro Stoxx 50 trades higher by 0.7%, shrugging off the uncertainty stemming from the collapse of coalition talks in Germany. Germany's DAX (+1.0%) shows relative strength.

In U.S. corporate news, AT&T (T 34.55, -0.09) is down 0.3% after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the company's acquisition of Time Warner (TWX 88.24, +0.53), which, conversely, is up 0.6%. The news wasn't a complete surprise as prior reports indicated that the DoJ was leaning toward opposing the deal.

Meanwhile, Lowe's (LOW 79.30, -2.16) is down 2.7% despite reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenues for the third quarter. Signet Jewelers (SIG 62.75, -13.30) and DSW (DSW 19.40, -3.13) are down 17.6% and 13.9%, respectively, after both companies missed earnings estimates and issued below-consensus profit guidance. 

U.S. Treasuries are mixed this morning amid another curve-flattening trade that has reduced the 2yr-10yr spread to 59 basis points. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note is down one basis point at 2.36%, while the 2-yr yield is up two basis points at 1.77%.

On the data front, today's lone economic report--October Existing Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 5.42 million)--will be released at 10:00 ET.


08:50AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +9.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +33.10.

The S&P 500 futures trade 10 points, or 0.4%, above fair value.

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Tuesday on a higher note. Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he is considering tax cuts for low and middle-income earners in addition to a corporate tax cut that would lower the rate to 25.0% from 30.0%. Meanwhile, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chair Wayne Byres said the Authority has concerns about housing and lending standards. President Trump named North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

  • In economic data:
    • New Zealand's Credit Card Spending +2.9% year-over-year (last 4.9%)
    • Japan's All Industries Activity Index -0.5% month-over-month (expected -0.4%; last 0.2%)
    • Hong Kong's October CPI +1.5% year-over-year (last 1.4%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei rose 0.7%. SUMCO, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Nichirei, Ebara, Amada, NGK Insulators, Yamaha Motor, Komatsu, Alps Electric, Chugai Pharmaceutical, and Trend Micro posted gains between 2.1% and 4.7%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.9%. Ping An Insurance spiked 9.0% while other financials like AIA Group, China Life Insurance, Bank of China, ICBC, BoC Hong Kong, and Bank of East Asia advanced between 1.0% and 4.2%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite added 0.5%. Wuhan Hanshang, Yunnan Jinggu Forestry, Zhejiang Medicine, Gemdale, and Hubei Yangfan Holding posted gains between 4.9% and 6.9%.
  • India's Sensex rose 0.4%. Dr. Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma, and Cipla led with gains between 2.3% and 5.0% while financials like AXIS Bank, ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank advanced between 0.4% and 0.5%.

Major European indices trade higher across the board despite political uncertainty stemming from the collapse of coalition talks in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the path to the formation of a government has proved harder than anyone expected and that new elections would be preferred rather than trying to form a minority government. Reports out of the UK indicate the Brexit settlement offer may be increased to GBP40 billion. The European Banking Authority will relocate to Paris from London after the UK exits the EU. Italy's stats agency expects 2017 GDP at 1.5%, up from a previous forecast for growth of 1.0%. 2018 GDP is expected at 1.4%, down from a previous forecast for growth of 1.5%.

  • In economic data:
    • UK's October Public Sector Net Borrowing GBP7.46 billion (expected GBP6.60 billion; last GBP4.43 billion). November CBI Industrial Trends Orders 17 (expected 3; last -2)
    • Swiss October trade surplus CHF2.33 billion (expected surplus of CHF3.20 billion; last surplus of CHF2.82 billion)
    • Spain's trade deficit EUR2.10 billion (last deficit of EUR3.20 billion)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is higher by 0.3%. Financials and select consumer names lead with Standard Life, Imperial Brands, Prudential, Provident Financial, Carnival, British American Tobacco, Tesco, RBS, and RSA Insurance showing gains between 0.7% and 3.0%.
  • France's CAC has climbed 0.8% amid broad strength. Financials like Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, and AXA have gained between 0.6% and 2.4% while automakers Renault and Peugeot hold respective gains of 1.3% and 0.4%.
  • Germany's DAX trades up 0.9%. Automakers outperform after Volkswagen raised its outlook on Monday. Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler are up between 2.3% and 4.3%. Prosiebensat, Infineon, Lufthansa, Adidas, SAP, and Bayer are up between 0.6% and 2.5%.

08:25AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +9.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +33.10.

The S&P 500 futures trade nine points, or 0.4%, above fair value.

Looking ahead, investors will receive earnings from several notable companies following today's closing bell, including Salesforce (CRM 108.52, +1.15), HP (HPQ 22.20, +0.08), and GameStop (GME 16.50, +0.06). Then, for the rest of the week, the only notable company on the docket is Deere (DE 138.42, +1.50), which will report on Wednesday morning.

The stock market will be closed on Thursday in celebration of Thanksgiving and open for a half day on Friday.


08:00AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +8.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +28.40.

Equity futures are pointing to a strong open for the U.S. equity market, which kicked off the Thanksgiving week with a narrow victory on Monday. The S&P 500 futures are currently trading eight points, or 0.3%, above fair value. At that level, the benchmark index is set to open about eight points below its record intraday high.

Elsewhere, indices in the Asia-Pacific region finished Tuesday on a positive note, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.9%) leading the charge. Meanwhile, the Euro Stoxx 50 trades higher by 0.7%, shrugging off the uncertainty stemming from the collapse of coalition talks in Germany. Germany's DAX (+0.9%) shows relative strength. 

U.S. Treasuries are mixed this morning amid another curve-flattening trade that has reduced the 2yr-10yr spread to 60 basis points. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note is down one basis point at 2.36%, while the 2-yr yield is up one basis point at 1.76%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index is flat at 94.02 and West Texas Intermediate crude futures are down 0.1% at $56.39 per barrel.

Investors will receive just one economic report today--October Existing Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 5.42 million)--which will be released at 10:00 ET.

In U.S. corporate news:

  • AT&T (T 34.30, -0.34): -1.0% after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the company's acquisition of Time Warner (TWX 88.16, +0.45).
  • Lowe's (LOW 80.20, -1.26): -1.6% despite beating both top and bottom line estimates.
  • Signet Jewelers (SIG 64.50, -11.34): -15.0% after missing earnings estimates and issuing disappointing profit guidance for fiscal year 2018.
  • DSW (DSW 18.65, -3.88): -17.2% after missing bottom-line estimates and issuing below-consensus profit guidance for fiscal year 2018.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Tuesday on a higher note. Japan's Nikkei +0.7%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +1.9%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.5%, India's Sensex +0.4%.
    • In economic data:
      • New Zealand's Credit Card Spending +2.9% year-over-year (last 4.9%)
      • Japan's All Industries Activity Index -0.5% month-over-month (expected -0.4%; last 0.2%)
      • Hong Kong's October CPI +1.5% year-over-year (last 1.4%)
    • In news:
      • Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he is considering tax cuts for low and middle-income earners in addition to a corporate tax cut that would lower the rate to 25.0% from 30.0%.
      • Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chair Wayne Byres said the Authority has concerns about housing and lending standards.
      • President Trump named North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
  • Major European indices trade higher across the board despite political uncertainty stemming from the collapse of coalition talks in Germany. UK's FTSE +0.3%, France's CAC +0.7%, Germany's DAX +0.9%.
    • In economic data:
      • UK's October Public Sector Net Borrowing GBP7.46 billion (expected GBP6.60 billion; last GBP4.43 billion). November CBI Industrial Trends Orders 17 (expected 3; last -2)
      • Swiss October trade surplus CHF2.33 billion (expected surplus of CHF3.20 billion; last surplus of CHF2.82 billion)
      • Spain's trade deficit EUR2.10 billion (last deficit of EUR3.20 billion)
    • In news:
      • Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the path to the formation of a government has proved harder than anyone expected and that new elections would be preferred rather than trying to form a minority government.
      • Reports out of the UK indicate the Brexit settlement offer may be increased to GBP40 billion. The European Banking Authority will relocate to Paris from London after the UK exits the EU.
      • Italy's stats agency expects 2017 GDP at 1.5%, up from a previous forecast for growth of 1.0%. 2018 GDP is expected at 1.4%, down from a previous forecast for growth of 1.5%.

05:51AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +6.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +20.90.

05:51AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...22416.5...+154.70...+0.70%.  Hang Seng...29818...+557.80...+1.90%.

05:51AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...7403.52...+14.10...+0.20%.  DAX...13127.50...+68.80...+0.50%.

04:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks had a quiet, but positive, start to the abbreviated Thanksgiving week on lighter-than-usual trading volume.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3%, finishing a step above the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, which added 0.1% apiece. Meanwhile, small caps outperformed, sending the small-cap Russell 2000 higher by 0.7%.

Tax reform remained a topic of conversation in the media on Monday, despite the lack of new developments. The House did its part last week when it passed its version of a tax reform bill, and analysts continue to debate whether the Senate can do the same when its version goes to the floor for a vote sometime after Thanksgiving.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced that she will resign from the Board of Governors when Jerome Powell replaces her as Fed Chair in early February. Ms. Yellen had the right to stay on the Board of Governors until January 2024, but her decision was not a surprise and had little impact on the financial markets.

As for corporate news, there were a few notable headlines on Monday, but the day was pretty quiet overall. 

Chipmakers showed relative strength, evidenced by the 1.2% increase in the PHLX Semiconductor Index, after Marvell (MRVL 21.59, +1.30) announced that it will acquire Cavium Networks (CAVM 84.02, +8.19) for approximately $6 billion, or $80.00 per share, in cash and stock. MRVL shares added 6.4%, while CAVM shares jumped 10.8%.

The S&P 500's technology sector (+0.3%), which houses chipmakers, finished ahead of the broader market, but a ways behind the telecom services group (+1.0%), which settled at the top of the sector standings. Verizon (VZ 46.20, +0.78) led the telecom rally, adding 1.7%, after Wells Fargo upgraded VZ shares to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform.'

Telecom giant AT&T (T 34.64, +0.13) also had a relatively positive showing, climbing 0.4%, following reports that the Department of Justice plans to make a major antitrust announcement on Monday evening that involves the company's pending acquisition of Time Warner (TWX 87.71, -1.01). TWX shares lost 1.1%.

The heavily-weighted financial sector climbed 0.5%, while the other advancing sectors added no more than 0.4%.

On the flip side, the health care space was the weakest group on Monday, moving lower by 0.4%. Within the group, Dow component Merck (MRK 54.10, -1.10) showed relative weakness, losing 2.0%, after Switzerland-based rival Roche announced positive clinical trial results for its cancer immunotherapy treatment called Tecentriq.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries moved lower in another curve-flattening trade, reducing the 2yr-10-yr spread to just 62 basis points. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note climbed two basis points to 2.37%, while the 2-yr yield jumped three basis points to 1.75%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Elsewhere, efforts to form a coalition government in Germany fell apart overnight, leaving Europe's largest economy in a state of political uncertainty. However, European equities were able to climb despite the news, with Germany's DAX (+0.5%) pacing the advance.

Major indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Monday on a mixed note, with Japan's Nikkei (-0.6%) slipping for the seventh time in nine sessions.

Reviewing Monday's economic data, which was limited to October Leading Indicators:

  • The Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased 1.2% in October (Briefing.com +0.8%). The prior month's reading was revised to +0.1% from -0.2%.

On Tuesday, investors will again receive just one economic report--October Existing Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 5.42 million)--which will be released at 10:00 ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +26.2% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +18.6% YTD
  • S&P 500 +15.3% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +10.8% YTD
Dow: +72.09… | Nasdaq: +7.92… | S&P: +3.29…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1630/1049. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1762/1168.

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