US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat, eyes on consumer data

Market is fundamentally strong right now; Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital to ET NOW
November 26, 2019
On Wall Street, major indices reach new records
November 26, 2019

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat, eyes on consumer data

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* Best Buy jumps on solid holiday-quarter profit forecast

* Disney gains on upbeat Disney+ subscribers report

* Dollar Tree slumps on dour forecast as tariffs weigh

* Focus on consumer confidence data

* Futures up: Dow 0.09%, S&P 0.02%, Nasdaq 0.03% (Adds comments, updates market action)

By Arjun Panchadar

Nov 26 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open flat on Tuesday after closing at record highs in the previous session, with a handful of retailers reporting mixed results ahead of the latest batch of consumer confidence data.

Trade issues remained in focus after Beijing said negotiators had reached a “common understanding on resolving relevant problems”, but stopped short of indicating an agreement was in the offing. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Washington was getting “really close” to a deal.

The three main U.S. stock indexes have notched new highs this month, fueled by optimism over a deal to end the damaging trade war, a third-quarter corporate earnings season that has largely topped lowered expectations and upbeat domestic economic data.

“A combination of progress on trade talks, no curveball by (Fed Chair) Powell, and consumer confidence should keep this ‘Thanksgiving rally’ going,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

A third interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve this year was also instrumental in lifting risk appetite, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday monetary policy was “well positioned” to support the strong labor market.

The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence data for November, due at 10 a.m. ET, is expected to rise to 127 from 125.9 in October.

Consumer confidence data is expected to stay at fairly elevated levels and should bode well for consumer spending as the holiday season kicks off in a few days, Cardillo said.

At 8:38 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 26 points, or 0.09%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.75 points, or 0.02% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 2.5 points, or 0.03%.

Best Buy Co Inc jumped 4% after the consumer electronics retailer beat expectations for quarterly same-store sales and forecast strong holiday quarter earnings.

Walt Disney Co rose 1.6% after a New York Post report said streaming service Disney+ is averaging nearly a million new subscribers a day, citing data collected from research firm Apptopia.

However, shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co fell 4% as the enterprise software maker missed fourth-quarter revenue estimates, hit by lower demand for its servers and storage products.

Dollar Tree Inc tumbled 13.3% after the discount store operator forecast holiday-quarter profit below expectations, as it expects a hit from U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)