Markets

Futures Indicate New Record Highs At Open; Mnuchin Jawbones Dollar Index To 3-Yr Low

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Wall Street was set up for another strong open Wednesday with investor's appetite for risk fuelled by earnings-related gains in General Electric ( GE ), Comcast ( CMCSA ) and General Dynamics ( GD ).

Shares of Dow component GE -- the most active stock in premarket trading -- were launched higher as an upbeat outlook for 2018 offset a miss on Q4 profit and sales.

The relentless melt-up in equities was eclipsed by last night's dramatic sell-off in the dollar after Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin jawboned the greenback lower. In comments made at the Davos Switzerland World Economic Forum, Mnuchin welcomed the softer dollar for its positive impact on US trade, and ultimately the US economy. Accordingly, the dollar index fell to its lowest level in more than three years, driving up the price of gold to a 4-month high.

Overseas markets were mixed with China's Shanghai setting a 2-year high, but European bourses all in the red from a stronger euro and British pound, as well as a miss on the German and EU manufacturing PMIs. The incremental gain in the corresponding services sector indices suggests a shift in resources away from production and into services.

On the US economic front, the Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index for November was up 0.4%, just missing the consensus expectation of a 0.5% gain.

At 9:45am ET, the preliminary manufacturing and services sector indices from US purchasing managers will be released. The manufacturing PMI is expected to stay unchanged at 55.0, while services will show an improvement to 54.0 from 52.4.

Finally, December existing home sales will come out at 10am ET, forecasted to decrease to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.750 million from 5.810 million in November.

-Dow Jones Industrial %

-S&P 500 futures %

-Nasdaq 100 futures %

SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 0.76%

Hang Seng up 0.08%

Shanghai Composite up 0.40%

FTSE-100 down 0.48%

DAX-30 down 0.04%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+) Large cap tech: Higher

(-) Chip stocks: Lower

(+) Software stocks: Higher

(+) Hardware stocks: Higher

(+) Internet stocks: Higher

(+/-) Oil stocks: Mixed

(+) Biotech stocks: Higher

(+) Drug stocks: Higher

(+) Financial stocks: Higher

(+/-) Retail stocks: Flat

(+) Industrial stocks: Higher

(-) Airlines: Lower

(+) Autos: Higher

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) CERS (+27.48%) Phase 3 study of INTERCEPT in blood cells met primary endpoints

(+) WATT (+7.45%) Completed $40 million equity offering

(+) SEII (+6.15%) Announced partnership with Asiabots to develop artificial intelligence delivery services

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

(-) PBYI (-25.74%) Neratinib unlikely to get European Committee recommendation

(-) SIGM (-12.79%) To be liquidated after deal with Silicon Labs ( SLAB ) scrapped; to sell Z-wave for $240 mln

(-) TK (-10.81%) Priced public offering of 20 million shares of stock at $9.75 per share

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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