Dow futures rise as Home Depot reports 'unprecedented' quarterly demand

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By Mark DeCambre

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday was poised to open modestly higher, with Wall Street sentiment scoring a lift from better-than-expected quarterly results from retailers, including Home Depot Inc.

Investors are also expecting a report on the state of the U.S. housing market as well as well as fresh comments from speakers from the Federal Reserve.

How are stock benchmarks performing?

On Monday, the Dow shed 54.34 points to end at 34,327.79, a decline of 0.2%, the S&P 500 index fell 10.56 points, or 0.3%, closing at 4,163.29, while the Nasdaq Composite slumped 50.93 points to finish at 13,379.05, a retreat of 0.4%.

What’s driving that market?

Stock-market investors are trying to throw off a malaise that started the week, with investors poring over a batch of early quarterly results, as concerns about lofty valuations and rampant, post-COVID inflation run in the background.

Home Depot (HD) may help to provide a boost to the mood on Wall Street after the home-improvement retailer reported fiscal first-quarter profit and sales (link) that were well above expectations, citing “unprecedented demand” for home projects. Shares surged 2.3% in premarket trade.

Attention was also building around President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen slated to deliver a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in support of the proposal.

“We are confident that the investments and tax proposals in the (American) Jobs Plan, taken as a package, will enhance the net profitability of our corporations and improve their global competitiveness,” Yellen plans to say, according to an excerpt of her comments obtained by Axios (Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill – Axios).

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that Republicans, led by West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, was set to deliver their own infrastructure plan (link).

In deal news, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) was reportedly in discussions to buy MGM Holdings Inc., the studio behind the James Bond franchise, according to a report Monday by The Information (link), citing a person familiar with the situation.

The report comes a AT&T Inc. T (link) and Discovery Inc. DISCA (link) on Monday agreed on a $43 billion deal (link) to combine their media holdings in a new company.

Looking ahead, a report on U.S. housing starts for April is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Investors may be looking for policy news, as Lawrence Summers, formerly secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton and director of the National Economic Council under Barack Obama, is set to speak at 10:05 a.m. Eastern at the second day at a conference hosted by the Atlanta Federal Reserve.

Later in the morning, Dallas Fed Robert Kaplan and Atlanta Fed President Bostic will speak at the same conference at 11:05 a.m.

-Mark DeCambre; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-18-21 0725ET

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