(RTTNews.com) - With traders keeping a close eye on the OPEC meeting in Vienna, stocks may experience some choppy trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently mixed, with the Dow futures up by 41 points but the Nasdaq futures down by 1.5 points.
Trading is likely to be driven by reaction to news out of the OPEC meeting, with the price of crude oil surging higher amid optimism the members of the cartel will reach an agreement on cutting production.
Crude oil for January delivery is spiking $3.32 to $48.55 a barrel after plummeting $1.85 to $45.23 a barrel on Tuesday.
The spotlight on the OPEC meeting may overshadow some key economic data, including a report from payroll processor ADP showing stronger than expected private sector job growth in November.
ADP said private sector employment jumped by 216,000 jobs in November following a downwardly revised increase of 119,000 jobs in October.
Economists had expected employment to climb by about 160,000 jobs compared to the addition of 147,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that personal income rose by more than expected in October, although the report also said personal spending increased less than anticipated.
Shortly after the start of trading, MNI Indicators is scheduled to release its report on Chicago-area business activity in the month of November.
The Chicago business barometer is expected to rise to 52.0 in November after dropping to 50.6 in October, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in activity.
The National Association of Realtors is also scheduled to release its report on pending home sales in the month of October at 10 am ET. Economists expect pending home sales to increase by 0.8 percent.
A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.
Later in the day, the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts. The report may shed additional light on the outlook for monetary policy.
Stocks moved mostly higher in morning trading on Tuesday but gave back some ground late in the session. The major averages pulled back well off their best levels of the day but managed to close in positive territory.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq reached a record intraday high during the session but pulled back to close up just 11.11 points or 0.2 percent at 5,379.92. The Dow inched up 23.70 points or 0.1 percent to 19,121.70, and the S&P 500 crept up 2.94 points or 0.1 percent to 2,204.66.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in yet another performance on Wednesday. China's Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed just above the unchanged line and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.8 percent.
In commodities trading, old futures for February delivery are sliding $3.30 to $1,187.50 an ounce after dipping $3 to $1,190.80 an ounce in the previous session.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.22 yen compared to the 112.92 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0644 compared to yesterday's $1.065.
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