U.S. stock index futures were lower on Tuesday as investors weighed a possible delay in tax reforms while keeping an eye on quarterly earnings and global politics. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Financial Times on Monday that the Trump administration’s timetable for tax reform was probably delayed following setbacks in negotiations with Congress over health care. Mnuchin’s statement added to concerns about President Donald Trump’s ability to deliver on his promises to cut taxes and simplify regulations – bets on which U.S. stocks have hit record highs since his election.
A raft of quarterly earnings from corporate heavyweights is expected to keep investors busy. Bank of America shares rose 1.3 percent premarket after the company reported a strong jump in quarterly profit. Goldman Sachs, which is scheduled to report results before markets open, was up 0.3 percent. Safe-haven bets continued to be in favour as investors remained on the edge ahead of critical presidential elections in France and tensions between the United States and North Korea.
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In an unscheduled statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early election on June 8 to guarantee political stability as the country negotiates its way out of the European Union.Gold prices hovered close to five-month highs, while the dollar dipped.
Gold prices hovered close to five-month highs, while the dollar dipped.
Wall Street had closed higher in very thin trading volumes on Monday as investors bought technology and bank stocks.
Shares of Dow component UnitedHealth rose 2.3 percent to $170.95 premarket after the health insurer reported quarterly revenue and profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Johnson & Johnson slipped 0.9 percent to $124.60 after the healthcare conglomerate reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ expectations.
A report on March building permits is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), while manufacturing output data for the month is expected at 9:15 a.m. ET.
Futures snapshot at 6:55 a.m. ET is as follows:
Dow e-minis were down 27 points, or 0.13 percent, with 27,231 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.75 points, or 0.29 percent, with 149,238 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 12.75 points, or 0.24 percent, on volume of 26,730 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)