Futures Pointing To Roughly Flat Open On Wall Street

Following the volatility seen in the previous session, stocks are likely to show a lack of direction early in the session on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by less than a tenth of a percent.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points, traders are likely to look to the accompanying statement for clues about how aggressively the central bank plans to tighten monetary policy.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new orders for manufactured goods in the month of March. Factory orders are expected to jump by 1.1 percent in March after falling by 0.5 percent in February.

After a weak start and a subsequent modest recovery, U.S. stocks tumbled on Monday but turned positive in the final hour to eventually end the session on a firm note.

The major averages all ended with solid gains, but it was the Nasdaq which hogged the limelight, surging 201.38 points or 1.6 percent as it settled at 12,536.02, rallying more than 330 points from a low of 12,202.41.

The Dow settled with a gain of 84.29 points or 0.3 percent at 33,061.50, rebounding from a low of 32,449.87, while the S&P 500 climbed from 4,062.51 to settle at 4,155.38, recording a gain of 23.45 points or 0.6 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Tuesday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi dipped by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.89 to $104.28 a barrel after rising $0.48 to $105.17 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after plunging $48.10 to $1,863.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are sliding $6.60 to $1,857 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 129.87 yen compared to the 130.16 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0564 compared to yesterday’s $1.0507.

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