Stocks May Lack Direction In Early Trading U.S. Commentary

Following the mixed performance seen last week, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 22 points.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves amid continued uncertainty about U.S. tax reform and news of political instability in Germany.

The upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday is also likely to keep some traders away from their desks, leading to light trading throughout the week.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Conference Board is scheduled to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of October.

The leading economic index is expected to climb by 0.6 percent in October after edging down by 0.2 percent in September.

Later in the week, trading may be impacted by reaction to reports on existing home sales, durable goods orders, and consumer sentiment.

The Federal Reserve is also scheduled to release the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, which may shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates.

While selling pressure was relatively subdued, stocks saw modest weakness during trading on Friday. The major averages all moved to the downside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq pulling back off the record closing high set in the previous session.

The Dow slid 100.12 points or 0.4 percent to 23,358.24, the Nasdaq dipped 10.50 points or 0.2 percent to 6,782.79 and the S&P 500 fell 6.79 points or 0.3 percent to 2,578.85.

For the week, the major averages turned in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq rose by 0.5 percent, the Dow slipped by 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 edged down by 0.1 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved modestly higher on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.28 to $56.27 a barrel after jumping $1.41 to $56.55 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,292.40, down $4.10 from the previous session's close of $1,296.50. On Friday, gold surged up $18.30.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 112.26 yen compared to the 112.10 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1770 compared to last Friday's $1.1790.

by RTT Staff Writer

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