Stock futures rose on Tuesday, Nov. 28, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 on track to trade around all-time closing records.
Dow futures increased 30 points on Tuesday morning, S&P 500 futures gained 3 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 6 points. A day earlier, the Dow closed just 10 points from its all-time closing high set on Tuesday, Nov. 21, while the S&P 500 missed out on recording back-to-back records after falling into the red.
Jerome Powell, Donald Trump's pick to serve as chairman of the Federal Reserve, will give testimony before Congress in his confirmation hearing Tuesday. Powell is scheduled for a full confirmation hearing at 10 a.m. ET before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Trump picked Powell to replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen when her term ends in February.
In a statement released Monday, Nov. 27, Powell said, "We expect interest rates to rise somewhat further and the size of our balance sheet to gradually shrink."
Powell was careful to walk the line between dove and hawk, though: "While we endeavor to make the path of policy as predictable as possible, the future cannot be known with certainty. We must retain the flexibility to adjust our policies in response to economic developments."
Markets barely reacted to news of Powell's nomination in early November. Most analysts and economists expect Powell to continue on the path of steady tightening that Yellen has set up in the past couple years.
The Fed is set to meet on Dec. 12-13. The market is confident the Federal Open Market Committee will agree to a 25-basis-point rate hike at that meeting. Chances of an increase sit at 93%, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
The trade deficit widened at a faster pace than anticipated in October. The deficit came in at $68.3 billion last month, according to the Census Bureau, after a reading of $64.1 billion in September. Analysts anticipated a deficit of $64.8 billion.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday also includes the FHFA House Price Index for September at 9 a.m., and Consumer Confidence for November at 10 a.m.
Oil prices continued their retreat on Tuesday ahead of a meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Thursday, Nov. 30. OPEC and non-OPEC producers will meet to discuss extending cuts beyond their March 2018 expiration date. Traders hope that the oil cartel and other countries can agree upon an extension, though Russia is widely considered a wild card at this point.
"We believe that the outcome of this meeting is much more uncertain than usual," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a note. However, the firm is optimistic a deal can be reached: "We view risks to oil prices as skewed to the downside this week as we believe that current prices, time spreads and positioning already reflect a high probability of a nine-month extension."
West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.8% to $57.65 a barrel on Tuesday after falling by more than 1% on Monday.
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD) rose by more than 6% in premarket trading after Roark Capital-backed Arby's agreed to buy the wings chain in a deal worth $2.9 billion, including debt.
- Buffalo Wild Wings Surges on Arby's $2.9 Billion Buyout Deal
- Buffalo Wild Wings Sale Would Be a Win for This Outspoken Activist
In other deal news, Emerson Electric Corp. (EMR) - Get Report has withdrawn an unsolicited bid to purchase Rockwell Automation Corp. (ROK) - Get Report after the latter showed "continued unwillingness" to engage in deal talks. Emerson had offered $225 a share for Rockwell, an offer it rejected as presenting "significant long-term risk for Rockwell Automation's shareowners." Emerson now plans to invest in share buybacks.
Updated from 7:44 a.m. ET, Nov. 28.
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