Stocks- U.S. Futures Rise Ahead of Fed Confirmation Hearing

Investing.com – U.S. futures edged higher on Tuesday, as investors wait for the confirmation hearing of Fed Governor Jerome Powell.

The S&P 500 futures inched forward two points or 0.09% as of 6:51 AM ET (11:51 AM GMT) while Dow futures rose 38 points or 0.16%. Meanwhile tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures increased three and a half points or 0.05%.

Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who was nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump to lead the Federal Reserve, is set to appear before the Senate Banking Committee at 9:45AM ET (2:45 PM GMT) for his confirmation hearing. Investors will be listening for clues as to how he will lead the central bank.

Investors have also turned their attention to the tax-reform bill, with Trump expected to discuss the bill with Senate Republicans at their weekly luncheon. The Senate is expected to vote on the highly-anticipated bill on Thursday. Republicans are rushing to pass a tax bill before the end of the year, which could include cutting corporate taxes to 20% from 35%.

Oil companies were among the biggest gainers in pre-market trading. BP (LON:BP) PLC ADR (NYSE:BP) oil firm rose 0.99% while Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) PLC ADR (NYSE:RDSa) increased 2.94% after it restored its all-cash dividend. Meanwhile pharmaceutical firm Teva Pharma Industries Ltd ADR (NYSE:TEVA) rose 1.85%.

Elsewhere Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) PLC ADR (NYSE:LYG) slipped 1.98% despite passing the Bank of England’s stress test while Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA), a cryptocurrency player, slumped 26.88% after surging nearly 10% in trading on Monday.

Meanwhile in Europe stocks rose. Germany’s DAX surged 42 points or 0.33% while in France the CAC 40 increased 33 points or 0.63% and in London, the FTSE 100 rose 47 points or 0.65%. Meanwhile the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 inched forward 17 points or 0.49% while Spain’s IBEX 35 was up 46 points or 0.46%.

In commodities, gold futures rose 0.01% to $1,294.49 a troy ounce while crude oil futures slipped 1.00% to $57.53 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.12% to 92.96.