By Mark DeCambre and Chris Matthews, MarketWatch
Bed Bath & Beyond stock rallies on activist news
U.S. stock-index futures rose Tuesday, setting up potential opening gains for Wall Street as investors attempted to shake off global growth worries and focus on a resumption of U.S.-China trade negotiations.
How are benchmarks performing?
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 148 points, or 0.6%, to 25,726, the S&P 500 index advanced 15 points, or 0.5%, to 2,822, while Nasdaq-100 futures climbed 42.25 points, or 0.6%, at 7,397.25.
On Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-indicate-fresh-losses-ahead-for-wall-street-2019-03-25), the S&P 500 index shed 2.35 points to 2,798.36, with technology and financials leading lower. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 5.13 points to 7,637.54, while the Dow rose 14.51 points to 25,516.83.
Read:Why an inverted yield curve doesn't mean investors should immediately sell stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-an-inverted-yield-curve-doesnt-mean-investors-should-immediately-sell-stocks-2019-03-25)
What's driving the market?
Cabinet-level trade negotiations between Beijing and Washington were scheduled to kick off, with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin due in China later this week to help complete long-running discussions between the world's largest economies.
A resolution of disagreements on tariffs could offer a fillip to markets and provide some succor to investors wringing their hands over growing signs of a slowdown in economic expansion across the globe -- possibly exacerbated by the trade dispute.
Meanwhile, investors were focused on Brexit in the U.K., after lawmakers' decision late Monday to wrest control of the process of leaving the European Union away from Prime Minister Theresa May, in a move that will prompt a series of indicative votes this week aimed at easing legislative gridlock.
A disorderly exit from the EU by Britain could unsettle global benchmarks, market participants fear.
Read: Brexit vote leaves European markets in wait-and-see turmoil (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brexit-vote-leaves-european-markets-in-wait-and-see-turmoil-2019-03-26)
Investors have been rattled by the inversion of the yield curve--an unusual condition in which rates for shorter-dated government debt rises above its longer-dated counterparts. The inversion between the 3-month Treasury and the 10-year note inverted for the first time since 2007 on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yield-curve-recession-indicator-flashes-red-as-10-year-yield-falls-below-3-month-yield-2019-03-22).
However, the 10-year Treasury yield, after closing at its lowest level since 2017 on Monday, edged somewhat higher at 2.45% early Tuesday.
Which data are in focus
Reports on housing starts and building permits for February are expected at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, while the Case-Shiller home price index for January is due at 9 a.m., followed by a reading on consumer confidence at 10 a.m.
Which stocks are in focus?
Apple Inc.'s shares (AAPL) may be in focus after the tech giant unveiled on Monday a raft of products aimed at boosting its services business. Shares rose 1.1% in premarket trade.
Privately held Uber completed a $3.1 billion purchase (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uber-announces-31-billion-deal-for-mideast-rival-careem-2019-03-26) of Middle Eastern rival Careem Networks.
Shares of McCormick & Co. Inc. (MKC) rose 3.4% in premarket trade, after the spices and seasonings company reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mccormick-beats-profit-expectations-but-sales-come-up-a-bit-shy-2019-03-26) that beat Wall Street expectations, though revenue fell short of forecasts.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) stock is in focus Tuesday morning, after The Wall Street Journal reported (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bed-bath-beyonds-ceo-board-targeted-by-activist-investors-2019-03-25) that three activist investors are preparing to launch a proxy fight to replace the home furnishings retailer's entire board. Shares are up 19% before the bell.
What are strategists saying?
"The assumption is that the Fed is through tightening and the next move is likely to be a cut -- Fed funds futures are now fully pricing in a 25 [basis points] cut by the end of January 2020. Perhaps as a result, US stocks close little changed and Asian stocks are mostly higher this morning -- Tokyo stocks are up 2.6% at the time of writing. So a little mean reversion as yesterday's losers are now today's winners," wrote Marshall Gittler, chief strategist at ACLS Global, in a Tuesday research note.
What were other markets doing?
European equity markets were higher, Stoxx 600 Europe index rose 0.5%. China stock markets closed lower, with Japan's Nikkei , Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advancing 2.2%.
Read:The persistence of subzero rates in Europe may revive a perilous 'quest for yield' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-persistence-of-subzero-rates-in-europe-may-revive-a-perilous-quest-for-yield-2019-03-23)
In commodities markets, crude-oil prices climbed, while gold prices declined, as the U.S. dollar remained under pressure (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-edges-lower-as-currencies-retrace-fridays-moves-2019-03-25).
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 26, 2019 08:03 ET (12:03 GMT)
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