Futures Edge Higher on US Election Day
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street, with investors' attention firmly fixed on the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday.
The vote result is expected to be close and both incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have made last minute pushes in crucial swing states. Whoever wins will have to tackle the looming U.S. "fiscal cliff", one of the markets' major concerns at the moment.
"The market impact from the U.S. elections will likely come in the areas of fiscal and monetary policies," according to a note from Brown Brothers Harriman. "On the fiscal side, how the looming fiscal cliff will be dealt with will hinge greatly on the makeup of Congress and its relationship with the new president."
Among earnings, CVS edged higher after the drug store chain edged past earnings expectations and raised its forecast for the full year, on improving sales at its stores and an increase in pharmacy benefit clients.
Zillow plunged after the real estate database website handed in a fourth-quarter revenue below estimates and the company lost one of its larger advertisers.
News Corp is scheduled report after the closing bell.
Meanwhile, NYSE Euronext reported a 21 percent drop in third-quarter revenue, reflecting weaker trading activity in London, France and New York. However, third-quarter earnings per share beat estimates.
So far, nearly 80 percent of S&P 500 companies have posted earnings, with more than 61 percent topping expectations. The figure is roughly in line with the 62 percent quarterly average since 1994 and below the 67 percent average over the past four quarters.
The U.S. Treasury is set to auction $32 billion in 3-year notes, with the results available shortly after 1pm ET.
European shares were higher, despite renewed uncertainty in Greece as its two largest unions commenced a two-day strike against austerity measures.
Coming Up This Week:
TUESDAY: 3-Yr note auction, ELECTION NIGHT; Earnings from News Corp
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, consumer credit, Coach shareholders mtg, Oracle shareholders mtg; Earnings from Macy's, Sodastream, Qualcomm, Activision Blizzard, CBS, Monster Beverage, Whole Foods
THURSDAY: International trade, jobless claims, 30-yr bond auction, Kellogg analyst day, 3M investor mtg, OPEC press conference; Earnings from Dean Foods, Wendy's, Disney, Groupon, Nordstrom, Nvidia, Kayak, Zipcar
FRIDAY: Import/export prices, consumer sentiment, wholesale trade; Earnings from JCPenney
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