U.S. Stocks May See Initial Strength On Upbeat Retail Earnings, Data

After ending the previous session roughly flat, stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 74 points.

The Dow may benefit from early strength among shares of retail giants Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD), which are both components of the blue chip index.

Walmart may see initial strength after reporting third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates and raising its full-year guidance.

Shares of Home Depot are also likely to move to the upside after the home improvement retailer reported better than expected third quarter results.

Adding to the positive sentiment on Wall Street, the Commerce Department released a report showing U.S. retail sales shot up by more than expected in the month of October.

The report said retail sales spiked by 1.7 percent in October after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in September.

Economists had expected retail sales to jump by 1.4 percent compared to the 0.7 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding sales by motor vehicles and parts dealers, retail sales still surged up by 1.7 percent in October after rising by 0.7 percent in September. Ex-auto sales were expected to advance by 1.0 percent.

Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Labor Department showed U.S. import prices jumped by more than expected in the month of October.

The Labor Department said import prices shot up by 1.2 percent in October after rising by 0.4 percent in September. Economists had expected import prices to increase by 1.0 percent.

The report showed export prices also surged by 1.5 percent in October after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in September.

Export prices were expected to advance by 0.9 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Just before the start of trading, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on industrial production in the month of October. Industrial production is expected to climb by 0.7 percent in October after slumping by 1.3 percent in September.

The National Association of Home Builders is also due to release its report on homebuilder confidence in the month of November shortly after the open. The housing market index is expected to come in unchanged at 80.

Additionally, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on business inventories in the month of September. Business inventories are expected to increase by 0.7 percent.

After failing to sustain an early move to the upside, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Monday. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before ending the day roughly flat.

The major averages finished the day slightly lower, edging down by less than a tenth of a percent each. The Dow slipped 12.86 points to 36,087.45, the Nasdaq dipped 7.11 points to 15,853.85 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.05 points to 4,682.80.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.47 to $81.35 a barrel after inching up $0.09 to $80.88 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after edging down $1.90 to $1,866.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $5.80 to $1,872.40 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 114.33 yen compared to the 114.12 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1367 compared to yesterday’s $1.1368.

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