Australian shares are set to open higher, while US stocks closed mixed, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 each touching yet another fresh record.

ASX futures were up 0.21% or 17 points as of 8:00am on Tuesday, suggesting a higher open.

U.S. stock indexes hung at or near records as the summer doldrums continued, but a busy calendar this week could spark some excitement.

In another quiet session Monday, the S&P 500 added 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3%, both extending a run of record closes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%.

In commodity markets, Brent crude oil was down 0.9% to US$85.75 a barrel, while gold was flat at US$2,358.83.

In local bond markets, the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds was down at 4.20% while the 10 Year yield was also down at 4.36%. US Treasury notes were mixed, with the 2 Year yield up at 4.63% and the 10 Year yield unchanged at 4.28%.

The Australian dollar was 67.33 US cents, down from its previous close of 67.47.


Chinese shares ended lower, weighed by software and property stocks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9% to 2,922.45, the Shenzhen Composite Index was 1.9% lower and the ChiNext Price Index declined 1.6%. Investors are digesting the latest batch of Chinese economic data, which points to a "marked slowing in growth momentum as deflation expectations become more entrenched," Barclays analysts say in a commentary. Among major stocks, iFlytek slumped 6.1% after a weak 1H guidance, Beijing Kingsoft Office Software shed 2.4% and Poly Developments & Holdings lost 2.8%. Gainers included China Mobile, which was 1.4% higher, and China Telecom, which added 0.8%.

Hong Kong shares closed lower, with almost all sectors ending in the red. Sentiment remained weak ahead of the Third Plenum due to concerns about China's tax reforms, says Tommy Xie, OCBC head of Asia macro research. Pharmaceutical and property stocks led the losses. Beigene dropped 3.2% and WuXi AppTec was 3.8% lower. China Resources Land shed 2.9% and China Overseas Land & Investment lost 2.8%. Telecom stocks provided some support to the market, with China Telecom up 1.9% and China Unicom rising 1.1%. The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 1.55% lower at 17,524.06; the Hang Seng Tech Index fell 0.8%.

Japanese stocks end lower, dragged by falls in auto, electronics and shipping shares, as caution persists over the Bank of Japan's potential rate increases. Yaskawa Electric drops 4.4%, Kawasaki Kisen sheds 4.5% and Honda Motor declines 1.9%. The Nikkei Stock Average falls 0.3% to 40,780.70. The 10-year Japanese government bond yield rises 2 bps to 1.085%. Investors are focusing on economic data and their policy implications.

India's Sensex closed 0.05% lower at 79960.38, weighed by steel and manufacturing stocks. The markets may be awaiting Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony to lawmakers for cues on U.S. interest rates, UOB's Global Economics and Markets Research team writes in a note. Among decliners, Titan fell 3.5%, Tata Steel lost 1.4% and JSW Steel was 1.2% lower. Advancers included ITC, which rose 2.3%, Nestle India, which gained 1.1%, and Infosys, which was 0.7% higher.


Stocks in the U.K. slipped Monday, as the FTSE 100 Index dropped 0.1% to 8,193.49.

Among large companies, Ithaca Energy PLC posted the largest decline, dropping 5.2%, followed by shares of AJ Bell PLC, which fell 3.4%. Shares of Plus500 Ltd. fell 3.3%.

Ocado Group PLC was the biggest gainer during the session, surging 5.4%, and Britvic PLC surged 4.5%. Beazley PLC rounded out the top three movers on Monday, as shares gained 3.6%.

In other parts of Europe, markets were mixed, with the STOXX Europe 600 Index at 516.43, Germany's DAX at 18,472.05 and France's CAC 40 fell 0.6% to 7,627.45.

North America

Stock indexes hung at or near records as the summer doldrums continued, but a busy calendar this week could spark some excitement.

Major indexes have been on a slow and steady march upward for weeks, and measures of volatility are near historic lows. In another quiet session Monday, the S&P 500 added 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.3%, both extending a run of record closes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%.

Traders will have more to chew on starting Tuesday. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is set to testify before Congress, and Wall Street will be closely following his comments for clues on when interest-rate cuts could begin.

Last week, the jobs report showed an uptick in the unemployment rate, adding to the case for a September rate cut. If the consumer-price index on Thursday shows that inflation continued to moderate in June, the Fed would have a clearer path to cuts.

"Expect him to say progress on inflation has been and is being made, but the Fed remains patient in terms of cutting rates to ensure it doesn't reignite," Bill Hornbarger, chief investment officer at Benjamin F. Edwards, said of Powell's Tuesday testimony.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was steady Monday at 4.267% but has dropped roughly 0.2 percentage point since the beginning of the month, a sign that traders have grown more optimistic that there will be rate cuts this year.

Another potential catalyst for markets comes at the end of the week, when JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo report second-quarter results, kicking off earnings season in earnest. Big banks' results are viewed as a bellwether for the economy, and commentary on commercial-lending activity, Wall Street dealmaking and the financial health of credit-card holders will be closely watched.

For now, calm reigns supreme. The S&P 500 hasn't dropped by more than 1% in a day since April.

"The current market is positive and steady to a nearly unprecedented degree. It's extremely rare to see these types of consistent gains with almost no volatility," said Mark Hackett, Nationwide's chief of investment research. "Investors should be prepared to see some choppiness" once earnings kick off, he added.

On Monday, chip-related stocks led the way, with Super Micro Computer, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices all adding at least 4% to finish among the S&P 500's best performers. Corning was the index's top gainer, jumping 12%. The maker of glass for TV screens and smartphones is getting a boost from AI and increased its sales guidance.

Nike shares dropped to close around $73, a more than four-year low. Investors have punished the apparel maker since it reported disappointing quarterly results late last month.