U.S. stock futures ticked higher on Tuesday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted their biggest drop in nearly a month, as investors hoped for an U.S.-China trade deal as early as this month.
The benchmark index, which closed last week above the significant 2,800-point mark for the first time since Nov.8, failed to hold on to that level in the previous session.
Reports of talks between Washington and Beijing making headway had initially lifted Wall Street on Monday, but the rally fizzled out and the indexes closed much lower, in part due to weak December construction spending data.
“A trade agreement seems to be priced in to a large extent, but it’s the details of the agreement that will either provide an extension to the bull market or put an end to it,” Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM in Dubai, wrote in a note.
Hopes that the world’s two largest economies would soon hammer out a solution to end their trade dispute has been a huge driving force for the market’s rally this year, along with the dovish stance of the Federal Reserve on future rate hikes.
The S&P 500 has climbed about 11 percent this year and is now about 5 percent away from its Sept.20 record closing high. At 7:10 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 24 points, or 0.09 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.25 points, or 0.08 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.03 percent.
Among stocks, Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) rose 6.2 percent in premarket trading after the retailer reported better-than-expected rise in holiday-quarter sales, driven by strong digital sales and higher customer footfall at its stores.
Ctrip.com International climbed 10.9 percent after the Chinese travel website reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, helped by international hotel and air businesses and strength in Skyscanner’s direct booking program.
Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) dipped 2.1 percent after the cloud software maker forecast current-quarter revenue and profit below analysts’ estimates, as it battles intensifying competition from Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
The Institute of Supply Management’s report on non-manufacturing activity is expected to show a reading of 57.3 in February, up from a reading of 56.7 in January at 10:00 a.m. ET. Separately, the Commerce Department’s data is likely to show that new home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 600,000 units in December from 657,000 units a month earlier.