The expectation of a hung Parliament in Italy helped weigh down international markets on Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei fell 2.26 percent and the yen actually strengthened to trade at 92.04 to the dollar, and at 120.476 to the euro. The Hang Seng fell 1.32 percent, while the S&P/ASX 200 was off 1.03 percent.
Markets in Europe were deep into red territory as New York headed toward its opening bell. London’s FTSE 100 was off 1.27 percent, Germany’s DAX was off 1.52 percent, while the STOXX 50 was off 2.25 percent. The FTSE MIB in Italy was off as much as 4.05 percent.
U.S. futures at 8:00 a.m.: DJIA: +0.29%, S&P 500: +0.31%, NASDAQ: +0.23%.
1) U.S. stock futures seemed to be braving the storm on Tuesday morning, and posted early gains despite international economic headwinds. Investors may have turned up their collars to focus on the slate of indicators due to be released in the morning: FHFA and S&P Case-Shiller home-price indices at 9:00 a.m., and new home sale and consumer confidence data at 10:00 a.m.
Hopes are high, because if the the U.S. economy has traction anywhere it’s in the housing market. Strong data today could put some much-needed confidence back into the markets, which seem nervous in light of the uncertainty caused by the Italian elections and pending sequestration.