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Market Snapshot: Stock-index futures edge lower after S&P 500 notches record

Stock-index futures traded mostly lower Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500 scored a record close, as investors kept their attention on a stream of corporate earnings and awaited the start of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting that’s expected to deliver another rate cut.

What are major indexes doing?

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMZ19, -0.18% were off 58 points, or 0.2%, at 26,996, while S&P 500 futures ESZ19, -0.12% edged down 3.55 points, or 0.1%, to 3,032.75. Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ19, -0.03% were off 3.75 points, or less than 0.1%, at 8,091.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.56% ended in record territory for the first time in three months on Monday, with the S&P 500 rising 16.87 points, or 0.6%, to close at a record 3,039.42, taking out the previous all-time closing high of 3,025.86 set on July 26. The large-cap index also set an intraday record, taking out the previous high-water mark also set on July 26.

Other major indexes weren’t far behind. The Dow DJIA, +0.49% gained 132.66 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 27,090.72, off just 1% from its record close of 27,359.16 set on July 15. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.01% briefly traded above its record close of 8,330.21 set on July 26, but ended just shy of the mark at 8,325.99, a gain of 82.87 points, or 1%.

What’s driving the market?

Investors said stocks appeared set to pause and consolidate after the run, absent any fresh catalysts. U.S.-China trade talks remain center stage alongside earnings, with equities getting a lift Monday from positive noises out of Beijing and Washington late last week and over the weekend.

The focus is also turning to the Fed, with investors pondering whether the central bank will move to dampen expectations for further easing beyond Wednesday’s expected cut.

Read: 3 things to watch when the Fed meets this week

“Before the Fed releases its decision tomorrow and top-tier economic data begin to trickle in, today is likely to show a lackluster session, although we doubt the positive mood will come to an abrupt end,” wrote analyst at UniCredit Bank, in a note.

Related:Why would the Fed cut interest rates a 3rd time even as stocks near records?

The highlight of this week’s economic calendar comes Friday with the October jobs numbers. On Tuesday, investors will see August data on Case-Shiller home prices at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, while an October consumer-confidence reading is due at 10 a.m. September pending home sales are also due at that time.

“While not a major impulse, it will be interesting to see whether the U.S. consumer remains immune to the wider decline in sentiment,” the UniCredit analysts said.

What companies are in focus?

The busiest week of corporate earnings season continues apace, with results rolling in ahead of the opening bell from several heavyweights, including Xerox Holdings Corp.XRX, +0.92%, Merck & Co. Inc.MRK, -0.07%, Pfizer Inc.PFE, +1.39% and HCA Healthcare Inc.HCA, +0.48%.

Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc.GOOG, +1.97%GOOGL, +1.95% were off 1.5% in premarket action after late Monday reporting a third-quarter earnings miss.

Shares of Pfizer were up 3.3% after the company upgraded its 2019 earnings guidance.

Merck saw its shares rally 2.2% in premarket action after it reported a third-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations.

Xerox shares were also up more than 3%, lifted after the copier maker reported third-quarter profit and revenue that topped expectations and said it had decided not to sell its consumer financing business.

Grubhub Inc.GRUB, -1.07% shares were off 35% in premarket action after the online food delivery company reported disappointing sales figures and a downbeat outlook.

A first-time quarterly profit wasn’t providing a lift for meat-substitute purveyor Beyond Meat Inc.BYND, +4.56%. Shares were down 14.5% in premarket action after the company reported results after Monday’s closing bell.