Stock futures held lower on Tuesday even as a reading on the housing sector jumped to a post-recession high and industrial production activity exceeded estimates.
S&P 500 futures were down 0.2%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.19%, and Nasdaq futures slipped 0.17%.
It was another record-making trifecta for Wall Street on Monday as stocks got a big boost from another rally in crude oil. The S&P 500 and Dow hit new records, breaking the highs seen last Thursday, while the Nasdaq added to records achieved on Friday. All-time intraday highs were also reached.
Initial construction of homes in July rose to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.21 million, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Housing starts rose 2.1% from an upwardly revised June reading. Analysts had expected a slightly weaker reading of 1.18 million. Starts climbed 5.6% from a year earlier, the second-best increase since the recession. Building permits were flat at 1.15 million.
Industrial production in July came in higher than expected in July, climbing 0.7% to 104.9. The reading was its largest increase since November 2014. Analysts had expected industrial production to rise 0.3% last month. June's reading was revised to a 0.4% increase from a previous reading of 0.6% growth.
U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Consumer prices have risen 0.2% in the past year, the smallest increase since March 2010, as weaker energy prices drag down the headline number. Core consumer prices, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased 2.2% over the past 12 months.
Oil prices continued to move higher in day four of a rally inspired by hopes over an output freeze from major oil-producing countries. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet next month and in recent days members including Saudi Arabia and Russia have suggested a willingness to discuss a production freeze deal.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, rose 0.2% to $45.81 a barrel on Tuesday morning.
BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get Report added 4% in premarket trading despite reporting a massive annual loss, its worst ever, and slashing its dividend. The Australian miner reported a net loss of $6.39 billion, compared to profit of $1.91 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected a net loss of $5.8 billion. BHP cut its dividend by 77%.
Home Depot (HD) - Get Report raised its full-year forecasts as a robust housing market fueled demand for DIY products. The home-improvement retailer expects full-year earnings of $6.31 a share, up from its previous target of $6.27 a share. Home Depot also improved upon quarterly profit and sales, reporting earnings of $1.97 a share, up from $1.73 a share a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 7% to $26.47 billion.
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) - Get Report rose in premarket trading after exceeding analysts' quarterly estimates and issuing upbeat current-quarter guidance. The sports retailer earned 82 cents a share, up from 77 cents a year earlier and above consensus of 69 cents. Third-quarter earnings guidance of 39 cents to 42 cents a share, above estimates of 38 cents a share. Full-year guidance was also increased.
Chinese online retailer Vipshops (VIPS) - Get Report increased more than 6% in premarket trading after topping earnings and sales estimates over its second quarter. The company earned 17 cents a share over the quarter, 2 cents above consensus. Revenue surged nearly 40% to $2.02 billion, exceeding forecasts by $120 million.
Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report added more than 1% after ValueAct Capital disclosed a $1.1 billion stake, roughly worth 2% of shares outstanding. The firm said it is not calling for any changes and believes the stock is undervalued. ValueAct CEO Jeffrey Ubben said there is a "disproportionate amount of time and energy spent overanalyzing Morgan Stanley's trading and lending business and fretting about its Fed oversight."
Walmart (WMT) - Get Report was on watch after Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) - Get Report , headed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, decreased its stake in the retailer to 40.2 million shares from 55.2 million. The firm also increased its stake in Apple (AAPL) - Get Report to 15.2 million from 9.8 million. The positions were current as of June 30, according to a regulatory filing.