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Dow Leads Mixed Futures; HP Dives On Megxit, Oil Stocks Climb | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stock futures traded up and down in a narrow zone early Wednesday, with Dow stocks Caterpillar (CAT) and Merck (MRK) showing early strength.

XAutoplay: On | OffFutures for the Dow Jones industrial average rose a fraction, as Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures struggled against slender losses. Small caps ran slight ahead of the early action, with Russell 2000 futures up 0.1%.

Global stock markets showed trade in Europe tightly mixed near midday. But Asian stock markets powered out another session of gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index vaulted 0.6%, clearing the 30,000 mark while breaking to a new 10-year high. In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% as its rally continues to pause below a Nov. 9 high.

Another early hot spot: oil prices, with U.S. benchmark crude rising nearly 2% to just below $58 a barrel — a level not touched since July 2015.  The trigger appeared to be weekly data released late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute which indicated a 6.4 million barrel draw down to inventories. The number was fully three times the decline forecast by economists, but effectively an evening of data after the prior week’s surprise build up of six million barrels. The Energy Information Administration provides its weekly view into oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

HP Loses Whitman; Deere, Gamestop Leap

HP Inc. (HPQ) dropped 5% and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) sloughed off 4% after reporting fiscal fourth-quarter results late Thursday. HP Inc. met or beat its quarterly targets from analysts, but offered first quarter guidance below views.  HP Enterprise provided mixed Q4 numbers and weak Q1 guidance. HPE Chief Executive Meg Whitman announced she would exit her position in 2018, to be replaced by HPE President Antonio Neri.

HP Inc. shares are extended, reaching new highs after a rebound from 10-week support. HP Enterprise stock is hashing out the latest in a series of side-by-side bases, all contained by resistance around the 15 price level.

Agriculture and construction equipment maker Deere (DE) rose nearly 4% after reporting a better-than-expected performance in its fiscal fourth quarter. The stock is extended and taking out new highs above a cup-with-handle buy point at 129.38.

Oil drilling and production stocks held a number of the top early gains among S&P 500 stocks, with Ensco (ESV) and Transocean (RIG) up more than 2% apiece. But Gamestop (GME) led the index, up 4% on above-forecast results reported after Tuesday’s close.

China-based e-commerce services play Baozun (BZUN) dropped 3% in early action. The IBD Global Leaders name reported third-quarter earnings and revenue above estimates late Tuesday.  The stock has formed a double-bottom base with a buy point at 37.95.

Among IBD stocks, Alarm.com (ALRM) climbed 2% in premarket trade. The stock is testing resistance at its 10-week moving average as it attempts to claw back from a deep, three-week sell-off.

Coming Up: Durable Goods, Jobless Claims

Economic news leads off with estimates of October durable goods orders, due from the Commerce Department at 8:30 a.m. ET, along with the Labor Department’s weekly unemployment claims data. The University of Michigan delivers its final tally on November consumer sentiment at 10 a.m ET, and the Federal Reserve’s release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s Nov. 1 meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

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