Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Higher Ahead of Fed Minutes

Reading the 2017 Tea Leaves After a Day 1 Stock Surge

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jan 4, 2017 at 9:05 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are modestly higher, and the 20,000 level is coming back into play, ahead of this afternoon's release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) December meeting minutes. Wall Street will be keeping an eye on auto stocks, too, which could move on motor vehicle sales data due throughout the day. Meanwhile, after hitting a 14-year high on Tuesday, the dollar is pulling back, while oil prices are edging up on signs that crude producers are complying with planned output cuts. At last check, February-dated crude futures were 0.5% higher at $52.57 per barrel.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:
 

dow futures jan 4

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are more than 27 points above fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 649,779 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 445,569 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.69, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.62.
  2. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) CEO Rex Tillerson, who has been appointed the next secretary of state under President-elect Donald Trump, has parted ways with the energy giant. As a result, Tillerson will forego a number of monetary benefits, and agreed to sell 600,000 XOM shares -- which historically struggle in January -- if he is confirmed into office, thereby avoiding potential conflicts of interest.
  3. After jumping yesterday ahead of a big reveal, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is retreating in pre-market trading, after the automaker announced fourth-quarter deliveries dropped 9.4% from the previous quarter due to production difficulties raised by the transition to new autopilot hardware. Total deliveries for 2016 also came up shy of estimates.
  4. Despite recently putting to bed a Justice Department corruption probe, Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) is reportedly saying goodbye to Peter Hazelwood, head of its global anti-financial crime unit. Hazelwood joined the banking firm just six months ago. Nevertheless, DB stock is nearly 3% higher in electronic trading, with help from a Barclays price-target hike.
  5. Motor vehicles sales and the ADP private sector employment report will hit the Street today. All eyes will be on the Fed in the afternoon, when the minutes from last month's FOMC meeting will be released. The week's relatively quiet earnings calendar will kick off with results from Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC).

Buzz Stocks Jan 4

Overseas Trading

Stocks in Asia closed mostly higher, as Japanese shares rallied on their first day of trading in the new year. Specifically, Japan's Nikkei jumped 2.5% to settle at a 13-month high, thanks to a better-than-expected Nikkei Japan manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for December -- continuing yesterday's theme of upbeat manufacturing data. A weaker yen also helped boost exporting stocks throughout the region, automakers in particular. As for the rest of Asian markets, China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.8% and South Korea's Kospi managed a 0.1% win, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng underperformed, shedding 0.1%.

In Europe, stocks are struggling for gains at midday, as declining automakers and retailers overshadow strong gains from bank stocks. In focus this morning is the latest inflation data out of the eurozone, with consumer prices rising at the fastest annual rate since September 2013 last month. Additionally, the IHS Markit PMI for the currency bloc climbed to its highest level since 2011 in December. At last check, the French CAC 40 was down 0.1%, London's FTSE 100 was off 0.03%, and Germany's DAX is 0.2% lower. 

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