Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite set to edge higher at the start of the final trading session of February

US stocks are expected to edge higher at the start of the final trading session of February, however, despite a solid start to the year, the major indexes are on pace for their second negative month in three.

In pre-market trading, futures for the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the broader S&P 500, and the tech-laden Nasdaq 100 were all up 0.1%.

On Monday, the DJIA closed 72 points, or 0.2% higher at 32,889, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively.

As of Monday’s close, the DJIA is down 3.5% for the month and the only major index negative for the year. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are positive in 2023, but down 2.3% and 1%, respectively, in February.

James Hughes, Global Head of Brand at Scope markets commented: “US futures made a solid start to the overnight session but momentum has been ebbing away since … A mixed session in Asia and a weaker start in Europe is doing little to lend support here, whilst month-end position-keeping also has the ability to provide a degree of influence.”

He added: “US economic data remains something of a mixed bag with yesterday’s better-than-expected pending home sales print again adding weight to policy hawks at the Federal Reserve. Later in today’s session, the Chicago PMI print and Consumer Board Confidence figure will both be in focus, with upbeat prints here unlikely to offer any respite for equities, either.”

Also on the economic front on Tuesday, investors will eye wholesale inventories and the S&P Case-Shiller home prices index.  

On the corporate front, in after-hours moves following news, Zoom Video rose after posting strong earnings, while Occidental Petroleum fell after posting a top-and-bottom line miss.

More retail earnings reports are due for release on Tuesday, including results from Target, AutoZone, Rivian Automotive, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and AMC Entertainment.