U.S. Stocks May Show A Lack Of Direction In Early Trading

Stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Tuesday following the uptick seen in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by just 0.50 points.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the recent run to record highs.

Largely upbeat quarterly results contributed to the recent strength on Wall Street, although traders may be looking for the next catalyst as the earnings season starts to wind down.

Economic news may begin to attract increased attention, as investors try to gauge when the Federal Reserve will start to begin raising interest rates.

The Fed has announced plans to begin scaling back its asset purchases but signaled that it will not be in a hurry to raise rates.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing producer prices increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of October.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand advanced by 0.6 percent in October after climbing by 0.5 percent in September. Economists had expected another 0.5 percent increase.

Core producer prices, which exclude prices for food, energy, and trade services, rose by 0.4 percent in October after inching up by 0.1 percent in September. Core prices were expected to edge up by 0.2 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices in October were up by 8.6 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report showed the annual rate of growth in core producer prices accelerated to 6.2 percent from 5.9 percent.

After an early move to the upside, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading session on Monday. The major averages pulled back off their best levels but still managed to end the day modestly higher.

The major averages once again finished the session at new record closing highs. The Dow rose 104.27 points or 0.3 percent to 36,432.22, the Nasdaq inched up 10.77 points or 0.1 percent to 15,982.36 and the S&P 500 edged up 4.17 points or 0.1 percent to 4,701.70.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.8 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index crept up by 0.2 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.08 to $82.01 a barrel after rising $0.66 to $81.93 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after climbing $11.20 to $1,828 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are unchanged.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 112.89 yen compared to the 113.23 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1582 compared to yesterday’s $1.1587.

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