U.S. stock futures were pointing to a modestly higher open Tuesday on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed at record highs Monday, putting year-to-date gains at 20%, 25% and 30%, respectively. Optimism surrounding U.S.-China talks on a "phase one" trade deal boosted the stock market Monday and there's further evidence of possible progress Tuesday. China's Ministry of Commerce said its top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday morning local time. "Both sides discussed resolving core issues of common concern," the ministry said.
With the final 2019 meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers just two weeks away, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled interest rates are unlikely to rise anytime soon, saying Monday the central bank remains firmly committed to seeing the inflation rate go up to 2%. Inflation has been well below that level for 2019, despite three rate cuts over the past four months. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told CNBC on Tuesday he expects fourth-quarter growth to be "weak" as business cut inventories due to trade concerns. Investors will be looking for more clues on the U.S. economy Tuesday morning, when the September S&P/Case-Shiller report on home prices and government data on October new home sales are released.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said impeachment investigators are pulling together their findings. House Democrats could deliver a finalized report as early as next week after several closed-door depositions and two weeks of public hearings looking into President Donald Trump's intention when he asked Ukraine's leader in a July phone call to investigate political rival Joe Biden. Trump has repeatedly said he's done nothing wrong, calling the impeachment inquiry a "hoax" and a "witch hunt." He said there was "no quid pro quo" on that call. If the Democratically controlled House were to vote for impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate would hold a trial on the evidence.
Alphabet's Google has terminated four employees for allegedly sharing sensitive information after weeks of internal dissent related to the mistrust of leadership. At least two of the employees were at the center of recent worker protests. Rebecca Rivers, who previously spoke out about Google's contracts with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, tweeted she was one of them. Last week, a group of 20 Google employees in San Francisco protested the interrogation of Rivers and another employee, Laurence Berland, who had been placed on sudden and indefinite administrative leave for allegedly sharing sensitive information.
Tesla's futuristic pickup truck appears set to go head to head against the Ford F-150 in an "apples-to-apples" battle. The anticipated showdown, which could take place next week, comes after Tesla this week unveiled its all-electric Cybertruck and showed a promotional video of the vehicle towing a F-150.
Critics of the demonstration have argued the test was unfavorable to Ford. Sundeep Madra, vice president at Ford X, tweeted Monday, apparently urging Tesla CEO Elon Musk to send over a Cybertruck for a tug-of-war test. In a tweet directly replying to the Ford X vice president, Musk replied, "Bring it on."