Futures Pointing To Modestly Higher Open On Wall Street


After ending the previous session mostly lower, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.2 percent.

Traders may look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the weakness on Tuesday, which dragged the Nasdaq down to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

Overall trading activity is likely to be relatively subdued, however, as many traders remain away from their desks amid the holidays.

Following the long Christmas weekend, the markets are set for another break this weekend due to New Year’s Day.

Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on pending home sales in the month of November at 10 am ET. Pending home sales are expected to rise by 0.6 percent in November after plunging by 4.6 percent in October.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

With trading resuming following the long Christmas weekend, stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly steep drop, tumbling to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

The Nasdaq plunged 144.64 points or 1.4 percent to 10,353.23 and the S&P 500 fell 15.57 points or 0.4 percent to 3,829.25. Meanwhile, the narrower Dow inched up 37.63 points or 0.1 percent to 33,241.56.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, most European stocks are turning in a lackluster performance, although U.K. stocks have surged as trading resumes following a long weekend. While the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are nearly unchanged, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.8 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.32 to $79.21 a barrel after edging down $0.03 to $79.53 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,813.50, down $9.60 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,823.10. On Tuesday, gold advanced $18.90.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 133.81 yen compared to the 133.49 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0638 compared to yesterday’s $1.0640.

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