Wall Street to open higher as oil lifts energy stocks


(Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were set to open higher on Tuesday as energy shares gained on the back of higher oil prices.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Crude oil rose more than 1 percent on expectations of tighter global supplies as the United States reimposed some sanctions on major exporter Iran. [O/R]

Exxon (XOM.N) rose 0.8 percent and Chevron (CVX.N) 0.6 percent, among the biggest gainers on the Dow in premarket trading.

Technology shares were among the most traded as a rebound in the Shanghai stock market [.SS] helped drive gains in U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies.

E-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA.N) gained 1.2 percent after sources told Reuters that it planned to merge its food delivery units and raise funds for the combined business. JD.com (JD.O) was up 1.1 percent.

The S&P 500 .SPX edged closer to a record it hit on Jan. 26 on Monday, closing within a percentage point of the all-time high for the first time since the current correction began.

“There is a follow through from the markets finishing higher on Monday,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

“Strong earnings is part of what has kept the market buoyant and one of the reasons why we’re in an uptrend right now.”

Office Depot (ODP.O) jumped 7.1 percent, while Energen (EGN.N) climbed 1.2 percent after their quarterly profits beat expectations.

Of the 413 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 79.2 percent have topped estimates. If the beat rate holds, it will be the highest on record, dating back to the first quarter of 1994, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term gyrations for the S&P 500, dropped to 10.52 points, a level not seen since the early February selloff.

At 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 93 points, or 0.37 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 6.25 points, or 0.22 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 19.75 points, or 0.27 percent.

Walt Disney (DIS.N) rose 0.7 percent ahead of its results later in the day.

Marriott International (MAR.O) fell 2.5 percent after the world’s largest hotel chain signaled weakness in revenue per available room (revPAR) in North America for the third quarter.

Express Scripts (ESRX.O) dropped 2.1 percent after billionaire investor Carl Icahn urged Cigna’s (CI.N) shareholders to vote against the health insurer’s $52 billion acquisition.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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