By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen edging higher at the open Tuesday, adding to record highs amid renewed optimism over the country’s economic recovery.
At 7:05 AM ET (1105 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 50 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 8 points, or 0.2%, higher, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 40 points, or 0.3%.
The major indices posted strong gains Monday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rising 1.5% to close at a record high. The broad-based S&P 500 ended 0.9% higher after touching an intraday record high, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 200 points, or 0.6%.
Driving the positive sentiment Monday, continuing into this session, was the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Covid-19 vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX). Investors are hoping that this will result in the acceleration of inoculations, just as the highly contagious delta variant has raised concerns about the U.S. economic recovery.
Adding to the optimism has been an apparent reduction in general confidence that Fed chair Jerome Powell will indicate a timeline for winding down the central bank’s bond-buying program at the end of the week.
“The question is whether investors want to add to risk positions ahead of Friday’s Jackson Hole event. After all, it seemed like some dovish comments from the Fed’s Robert Kaplan on Friday really turned the short-term trend – offering the prospect of a delay in the start of the tapering cycle,” said analysts at ING, in a note.
There are some retail names still to report second-quarter earnings Tuesday, with electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) set to release numbers before the opening bell. Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) is due after the closing bell.
The economic data slate centers around the housing market, with new home sales for July due at 10 AM ET (1400 GMT). Monthly sales are expected to rise 3% following a 6.6% decline in June.
Elsewhere, oil prices edged higher, with investors awaiting U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day, amid expectations for a hefty fall in inventories. This report comes a day before the official government weekly petroleum data.
By 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.9% higher at $66.86 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.9% to $69.65. Both contracts jumped more than 5% on Monday after recording their biggest week of losses in more than nine months last week.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,807.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded largely flat at 1.1742.