Wall Street looked set to open slightly higher on Tuesday, a day after all three major indexes recorded their worst monthly performance since January.
Investors have been cautious about taking large positions due to uncertainty surrounding the U.S. presidential election and with the Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates before the year ends.
The market is also watching the outcome of the Fed meeting, which begins on Tuesday. While traders doubt the Fed will raise interest rates this week, they will be looking for signs to firm up their expectations for a hike at the central bank’s meeting next month.
Chances of a rate hike in December were at around 78 percent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.
Wall Street ended barely changed on Monday as investors digested the latest large-scale corporate mergers as well as the most recent twist in a tumultuous U.S. presidential election.
Democrat Hillary Clinton held a 5 percentage point lead over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday, down only slightly since the FBI said last week it was reviewing new emails in its investigation of Clinton ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“The market is expected to be range bound until the election results next week,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“The latest Clinton news has caused some uncertainty because the market had priced in her winning the election.”
S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 4 points, or 0.19 percent, with 138,467 contracts traded at 8:26 a.m. ET.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 6.75 points, or 0.14 percent, on volume of 22,036 contracts.
Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 22 points, or 0.12 percent, with 26,789 contracts changing hands.
The S&P 500 index ended October with a 1.9 percent drop, the third straight month of decline. Still, the benchmark index is up about 4 percent for the year.
S&P 500 companies looked set to snap a long streak of quarterly earnings decline, with a number of companies reporting strong results. Profits are expected to have risen 3.1 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Dow component Pfizer (PFE.N) was down 2.2 percent at $31 in premarket trading after the drugmaker’s quarterly profit fell below expectations.
L Brands (LB.N) fell 7.8 percent to $66.55 after a host of brokerages cut their price targets on the stock.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM.N) rose 4.7 percent to $45.60 after the agricultural products trader reported a far better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Economic data expected on Tuesday includes the Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity, which likely rose to 51.7 in October from 51.5 in the preceding month. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.
Oil edged up from one-month lows, following its largest one-day slide in more than five weeks, although analysts said the prospect of a more substantial price recovery was limited. [O/R]