Tuesday, 08 May 2018 09:00

Dow set to struggle for direction as traders brace for Trump’s decision on Iran

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U.S. stock futures showed little change early Tuesday, as investors waited for President Donald Trump’s decision on a key nuclear deal with Iran.

The market is also digesting fresh rounds of earnings reports and economic data.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMM8, -0.13%[1] shed 21 points, or 0.1%, to 24,280, while S&P 500 futures ESM8, -0.20%[2] lost 3.50 points, or 0.1%, to 2,666.50. Nasdaq-100 futures NQM8, -0.17%[3] edged down 8 points, or 0.1%, to 6,818.

On Monday, the Dow DJIA, +0.39%[4] , S&P 500 SPX, +0.35%[5] and Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.77%[6] finished with gains[7], but off their intraday highs, after Trump tweeted that his decision on the Iran pact[8] will come at 2 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday.

The Dow is down 1.5% for the year, the S&P is roughly flat, and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite has gained 5.2%.

What are strategists saying?

“It seems as though President Trump will once more be a key factor in driving near-term market sentiment,” said Richard Perry a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note.

“This is certainly a decision that could threatens stability in the Middle East, and if the U.S. refused to waiver sanctions, it could increase tensions with trade partners and potential adversaries (such as China and Russia). Primarily this is playing out through the oil price which has increased to three-and-a-half-year highs on the prospect of a hit to Iranian oil supplies.”

What’s driving markets?

Traders are watching for Trump’s decision because abandoning the Iran deal would trigger a reimposition of economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern country. That could cut into global supplies for oil, providing support for crude prices and sparking moves for energy stocks XLE, +0.14%[9]  .

Oil futures ...

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