20, March 2017

US stock index futures moved lower; Trump’s speech eyed

Wall Street stock index futures pointed to a lower opening in pre-session hours on Monday as traders looked ahead of President Donald Trump conference this evening.

The Republican leader will be speaking at Louisville’s Freedom Hall in Kentucky, one of the most pro-Trump states, according to statistics. Investors are expecting some hints on further economic plans, including details of the controversial healthcare reform.

On Friday, different classes of futures and options contracts expired, which provided extra volatility and boosted trading volumes across the markets.

Washington’s agenda continues to be at center stage for market players, who speculate on higher fiscal spending, tax cuts and deregulation for several industries.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.10 percent / 20914.62 points

  • Standard & Poor’s 500: -0.13 percent / 2378.25 points

  • Nasdaq Composite: +0.00 percent / 5901.00 points

In economic news, industrial production for February came in at 0.00 percent, against a 0.2 percent build seen by analysts. Preliminary consumer sentiment from Michigan University was better-than-expected at 97.6 points from a previous month 95.7 points.

Last week, the Federal Reserve increased its short-term benchmark rate by 25 basis points to a range of 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent, its second adjustment in the last three months.

As the rate move was widely anticipated, investors focused on Janet Yellen’s press conference. While Fed Chairwoman’s remarks were overall hawkish, they were not as hawkish as expected.

The data front remains empty today, with US President Donald Trump speech due as of 23:30 GMT. Attention has shifted to a fresh batch of FOMC speakers schedule this week, including Fed’s Yellen. Investors will be searching for hints on the timing of the next interest rate hike.