Market Snapshot: Dow seen opening higher despite doubts about China trade deal, Home Depot outlook

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U.S. stock-index futures on Tuesday drifted higher as investors looked to extend a record rally for stocks despite uncertainty about progress for a partial China trade deal and headwinds from an influential Dow component, which delivered quarterly results that disappointed on sales.

How are the major benchmarks doing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMZ19, +0.17% were up 58 points, or 0.2%, at 28,066, but had been up by more than 120 points. S&P 500 futures ESZ19, +0.25% were rising 8.20 points, or 0.3%, at 3,130, while Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ19, +0.41% were gaining 36.75 points, or 0.4%, at 8,370.

On Monday, the Dow  DJIA, +0.11% closed 31.33 points, 0.1%, higher at 28,036.22, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.05% edged up 1.57 points to 3,122.03, a gain of 0.05%. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.11% added 9.11 points, or about 0.1%, to end at 8,549.94.

The Dow marked its 12th record close of 2019, the S&P 500 notched its 23rd of the year, while the Nasdaq Composite registered its 17th all-time high in 2019. All three benchmarks booked back-to-back gains on Monday.

Read: With Dow, S&P 500 at records, investors ignore ‘material deterioration’ in global economy

What’s driving the market?

The path of least resistance for equity markets is higher, with investors shaking off doubts about substantive progress toward a partial trade, or phase-one, deal with China ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for the increase of tariffs.

On CNBC late Monday, former White House economic advisor Gary Cohn said he believes President Donald Trump will go ahead with the Dec. 15 tariffs if the U.S. and China don’t forge a partial deal.

“US stocks are grinding higher as markets remain convinced that we will see the phase-one trade deal finalized before the next major tariff increase deadline of December 15th,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda wrote in a Tuesday research note.

Wall Street also was digesting a mixed earnings picture, which featured disappointing sales figures from Dow component Home Depot HD, +0.66%.

Home Depot lowered its fiscal year sales guidance as it reported a 3% decline in its fiscal third quarter earnings to Nov. 3 earnings of $2.77 billion, or $2.53 a share. The company said its sales were below expectations because of “the timing of certain benefits associated with its One Home Depot strategic investments.”

Looking ahead, the U.S. Commerce Department releases figures on the number of new homes being built at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with economists expecting a 3.5% increase in October, compared with the previous month.

In addition, New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams is set to give a speech at the SIFMA security dealers conference in Washington, D.C.

Separately, a U.S. House intelligence committee will commence public impeachment hearings, starting at 9 a.m. Eastern.

Which stocks are in focus?

Home Depot HD, +0.66%   shares were down in premarket action after lowering its sales outlook and missing revenue forecasts in the third quarter. Shares of rival home-improvement company Lowe’s Cos. LOW, -0.43%, down 2.5%, will report on Wednesday.

Kohl’s Corp.’s KSS, -1.15% stock dropped more than 10% in Tuesday premarket trading after the retailer cut its full-year guidance.

Shares of Medtronic PLC MDT, -0.72% surged 2.4% before the bell after the medical technology company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that rose above expectations, and raised its full-year profit outlook, but the stock slipped 1.1% in premarket trading to extend a pullback from the previous session’s all-time intraday high.

Markets also are awaiting results from retailer TJX Cos. TJX, -0.45%  , parent of off-price store TJMaxx.

How are other markets trading?

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.28%  edged up to 1.814% from 1.808%.

The price of gold for December delivery GCZ19, -0.24%  headed $3.40, or 0.2%, lower at $1,468.60 an ounce on Comex early Tuesday as stocks edged higher.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.03%, representing a basket of its trading rivals, was little changed at 97.000.

In Asia overnight, stocks traded mixed, with the China CSI 300 000300, +1.00%  gaining 1%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, -0.53%  fell 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +1.55%  climbed 1.6%, to add to its sharp gain from the previous session.

In Europe, stocks ended mixed; the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.52%  rose 0.6%.

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