Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, November 28:
1. U.S. Futures Point to Higher Open
U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open, as markets awaited fresh signals from the Federal Reserve on interest rates, while developments in the U.S.-China trade war remained in focus.
At 5:30AM ET (1030GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures were up 77 points, or about 0.3%, the S&P 500 futures ticked up 6 points, or around 0.25%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 22 points, or roughly 0.3%.
The moves in premarket come after Wall Street finished slightly higher on Tuesday, as concerns surrounding trade showed signs of easing in the wake of upbeat comments made by White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow.
Elsewhere, European stocks inched higher in mid-morning trade, with most sectors and major bourses across the region in positive territory, as investors kept tabs on Brexit developments and Italy's budget crisis.
Earlier, Asia markets closed mostly higher, with markets in mainland China outperforming amid the likelihood of a potential breakthrough in the U.S.-Sino trade dispute.
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2. Dollar Climbs To 2-Week High
Away from equities, the dollar rose for the third consecutive session to reach a two-week high against a currency basket.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was modestly higher at 97.28, after hitting an overnight peak of 97.44, its best level since Nov. 13.
The dollar was holding steady at two-week highs against the yen, with USD/JPY at 113.79.
The euro was at two-week lows against the dollar, with EUR/USD changing hands at 1.1285.
Elsewhere, the British pound edged higher. The Bank of England will release its assessment of the UK’s Brexit withdrawal agreement later in the day, which was likely to contain warnings about a no-deal Brexit scenario.
3. Fed Chair Powell Speaks
Wall Street's eyes will be glued on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell when he delivers what some say will be the most important speech of his tenure as head of the U.S. central bank.
Powell is due to participate in a luncheon at the Economic Club of New York at 12:00PM ET (1700GMT). His comments will be useful for investors who have been scaling back their expectations for future rate hikes following recent remarks from a number of Fed officials that were interpreted as dovish.
A fourth rate hike for this year is expected next month, but the road from there is unclear. While Fed policymakers have pointed to three increases in 2019, the market is only anticipating one.
Ahead of the event, U.S. President Donald Trump kept up his criticism of Powell, saying rising interest rates and other Fed policies were damaging the U.S. economy.
"So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay," Trump said in interview with the Washington Post.
4. U.S. Revised Third Quarter GDP
Wednesday's calendar features the biggest economic data point of the week.
The Commerce Department will publish revised figures on third-quarter economic growth at 8:30AM ET (1330GMT), which should lend further support to the notion that the economy is on solid footing.
The consensus forecast is that the report will show the U.S. economy grew at a 3.6% annual rate in the three months ending Sept. 30, a slight upward revision from a preliminary estimate of 3.5%.
Besides the GDP report, investors will keep an eye on the latest reading on new home sales for October due at 10AM ET (1500GMT). Recent data has painted a worrying picture of the U.S. housing market, which is struggling with rising mortgage rates and tight inventory.
5. EIA's Weekly Oil Supply Report
In commodity markets, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended November 23 at 10:30AM ET (1530GMT).
Analysts expect the EIA to report a climb of around 0.7 million barrels in crude supplies. If confirmed, it would be the tenth straight weekly climb in domestic oil inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 2 cents at $51.54 a barrel.
Meanwhile, international Brent crude oil futures dipped 5 cents to $60.35 per barrel, as traders continued to weigh prospects of a coordinated production cut among major global oil producers ahead of next week's OPEC meeting.