Wall Street was set for a mixed open Tuesday, Dec. 5, as investors sifted through details of competing Republican tax reform plans and navigated the recent weakness in tech stocks that has kept a lid on gains for equity markets around the world.
Early indications from U.S. equity futures suggested another solid session for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed at a record high 24,290.05, on Monday, Dec. 4, with investors expecting a 51-point gain for the benchmark at the opening bell.
However, while the broader S&P 500 was priced for a modest 4.5-point bump, the Nasdaq was likely to dip 3 points as tech stocks continued to sell off following last week's concerns over the chip sector "super cycle" and details of the Senate tax plan that could limit deductions related to intellectual property and investment. The S&P tech sector index fell nearly 2% Monday while the Nasdaq Tech 100 index slumped 1.8%.
The economic calendar is relatively light for the session, with trade data for October expected prior to the opening bell and a final reading of private sector activity in services slated for 10 a.m. ET. Investors will also get third-quarter earnings from AutoZone Inc. (AZO) and HD Supply Holdings Inc (HDS) prior to the start of trading and an update from Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc. (PLAY) after the closing bell.
Snap Inc. (SNAP) shares were a notable mover in premarket trading, rising 6% after two investment banks lifted their recommendations on the social media app as it goes head-to-head with Facebook Inc. (FB) in the youth messaging market.
European stocks traded mixed Tuesday, giving back gains amid concerns over tech-sector strength and the late-hour collapse of a potential breakthrough in deadlocked Brexit talks Tuesday.
Germany's DAX performance index was 0.22% lower, with Deutsche Bank AG (DB) falling 0.1% amid reports that German's biggest lender has been asked by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to provide details on accounts held by U.S. President Donald Trump and his family.
Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed from its Monday close of 7,340.91, helped by strong gains for the country's beleaguered retails Tesco PLC and Sainsbury's PLC. Investors were also keeping close tabs on the progress of talks between London, Dublin and Brussels over the contentious Irish border issue in a post-Brexit Britain and the impact it will have on the U.K.'s negotiations to leave the European Union, with the pound slumping 0.4% to 1.3418.
Monday's tech sector weakness, however, and the sector's notable underperformance in overnight Asia trading, does suggest investors may be questioning the tech sector's ability to extend gains into the new year, although a good portion of the recent pullback is certainly linked to the U.S. Senate tax reform bill and the benefits it will provide to rival sectors such as banking and financial stocks.
Part of the market's overall rotation, however, included a bump higher in oil prices, which gained on the back of new prices projections from Goldman Sachs and the anticipation of a drawdown in U.S. crude supplies taken from a Reuters poll of industry experts.
Brent crude futures contracts for February delivery, however, slipped in European trading and were down 0.06% to $62.41 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for January were down 0.38% at $57.24.
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