Traders Eye FOMC Minutes As Nasdaq, S&P 500 Futures Show Indecision Ahead Of Thanksgiving — Tesla Extends Gains, Deere, HP In Focus

The U.S. index futures are pointing to a modestly positive start by Wall Street stocks ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Strong retail earnings lifted stocks on Tuesday, with the three major averages closing notably higher for the session. The indices opened higher but gave back some gains and dipped into negative territory in early trading. Buying interest emerged thereafter, as the averages launched into a steady rally over the course of the remainder of the session.

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The S&P 500 Index breached the 4,000 level for the first time since Sept. 12 and the Dow Industrials climbed to its highest level since mid-August.

Tuesday saw an across-the-board rally, with material, energy and IT stocks seeing particular strength.

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U.S. Indices’ Performance On Tuesday        

Index Performance (+/-) Value
Nasdaq Composite -1.36% 11,174.41
S&P 500 Index +1.36% 4,003.58
Dow Industrials +1.18% 34,098.10

Here’s a peek into index futures trading:

U.S. Futures’ Performance On Wednesday During Premarket Session          

Index Performance (+/-)
Nasdaq 100 Futures +0.02%
S&P 500 Futures +0.07%
Dow Futures +0.06%
R2K Futures -0.20%

In premarket trading on Wednesday, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) added 0.21% to $400.74 and the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) moved up 0.16% to $286.41, according to Benzinga Pro data.

On the economic front, the Mortgage Bankers Association is due to release the weekly mortgage applications volume data at 7 a.m. EST. The metric rose 2.7% in the week ended Nov. 11.

The Labor Department will release its jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. EST, with consensus calling for an increase in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits from 222,000 in the week ended Nov. 12 to 225,000 in the week ended Nov. 19.

Around the same time, the Commerce Department is due to release its durable goods orders data for October. Orders for goods that are meant to last more than three years are expected to have seen a steady growth of 0.4% compared to the previous month and the core durable goods orders may have rebounded to show 0.3% growth following a 0.4% decline in the previous month.

The S&P Global’s manufacturing, services and composite purchasing managers’ indices for November are due at 9:45 a.m. EST. The manufacturing sector is expected to have stayed neutral at the zone demarcating expansion and contraction, while the services sector PMI may have remained almost flat in contraction territory.

At 10 a.m. EST, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release the new home sales report for October. New home sales fell 10.9% month-over-month in September.

The University of Michigan is set to release its revised consumer sentiment report for November at 10 a.m. EST. Apart from the headline consumer sentiment reading, traders may also focus on the one-year and five-year inflation expectations data from the report.

The Energy Information Administration will release the crude oil inventories report for the week ended Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. EST.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-week and 8-week bills at 11 a.m. EST.

At 2 p.m. EST, the Fed is scheduled to release the minutes of the November Federal Open Market Committee meeting. At the meeting, the central bank delivered its fourth straight 75 basis point rate hike and the policy statement signaled a change in the tone. The Fed suggested it will watch out for the cumulative impact of its rate moves but Fed Chair Jerome Powell stuck with his hawkish tone at his post-meeting press conference.

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Stocks In Focus:

Luxury retailer Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) fell over 9% in premarket trading despite the company’s third-quarter beat. Autodesk, Inc. (NYSE: ADSK) stock tumbled over 8% after it reported in-line third-quarter earnings but issued below-consensus fourth-quarter guidance. HP, Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) advanced over 2% after its fourth-quarter bear and announcement concerning the elimination of 4,000-6,000 jobs by 2025. Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) rose over 1%, signaling that the stock could extend its gain from Tuesday. Farm equipment maker Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) is scheduled to release its quarterly results ahead of the market open.

Commodities, Other Global Equity Markets:

Crude oil futures were back to the downside following two straight sessions of gains. WTI-grade crude oil slipped close to 1% to $80.22-a-barrel.

The Asia-Pacific markets ended Wednesday’s session mostly higher, although the mood reflected one of caution ahead of the FOMC minutes. Traders in the region reacted to the positive close by Wall Street stocks overnight. The Singaporean and New Zealand markets bucked the uptrend and the Chinese market ended on a mixed note. The Japanese market, meanwhile, remained closed on account of a public holiday.

European stocks showed tentativeness in early trading on Wednesday.

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