US pre-open: Stocks seen touch lower after record highs
(ShareCast News) - US stocks looked set for a slightly weaker open on Wednesday as investors took a breather after the main indices notched record closing highs in the previous session.
At 1155 BST, Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were down 0.1%, while Nasdaq futures were off 0.2%.
On Tuesday, all three indices closed at record highs as financials gained after Goldman Sachs announced plans to boost revenue, particularly in the fixed income, currencies and commodities division. The sector was also underpinned by comments from US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who said at the Delivering Alpha conference hosted by CNBC and Institutional Investors that the White House would deliver on tax reform before the end of 2017.
Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "It would appear that a running start to the week and fresh record highs in the S&P 500 has proven a little much for some traders, with profit taking seen ahead of Wednesday's open.
"Naturally there is still plenty of underlying geopolitical risk in the markets at the moment, even if acts of provocation have decreased and become less hostile, and this is likely to put a cap on risk rallies for now. The longer this period of calm continues, the more relaxed investors will become which will be better for riskier assets, while safe havens will continue to experience unwinding."
In corporate news, Apple was softer in pre-market trade after the unveiling of the tech giant's latest phone, the iPhone X on Tuesday prompted a mixed reaction and the company said it won't be delivered until November.
Elsewhere, Centene rallied in pre-market trade after the company said late on Tuesday that it has signed an agreement whereby Fidelis Care will become its health plan in the state of New York.
Nordstrom was also likely to be in focus following a report that it is taking steps to go private, while SeaDrill surged ahead of the opening bell after saying late on Tuesday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection and agreed a restructuring plan with its lenders.
On the macroeconomic calendar, the producer price index is at 1330 BST, while EIA crude oil stocks data is at 1530 BST.
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said: "PPI figures this afternoon could give the currency another breathing space, but with a week until the next Fed decision the world's most important central bank is still dangerously short of reasons to keep raising rates."