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US stock futures dip amid focus on trade, Iran and midterms

US stock futures dipped and Treasuries edged higher on Monday morning, as caution pervaded markets ahead of the US midterm elections on Tuesday.

Futures on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both dropped 0.1 per cent ahead of Wall Street’s open. Those for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite were down 0.3 per cent, suggesting further trouble for the technology sector on Monday.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely to price, moved 2 basis points lower to 3.19 per cent, a sign that investors are seeking out the safety of government bonds before Americans head to the polls on Tuesday.

But elections are not the only big event for markets this week. The Fed meets on Thursday, with current expectations that it will not veer from its policy stance. It’s also a bumper week of issuance for the Treasury market which could put upward pressure on yields.

“I expect to see more volatility and more headlines over the next 48 hours, many of which will be irrelevant by Wednesday when we will know who won and who lost and how they intend to behave,” wrote Peter Tchir, head of macro strategy at Academy Securities, in a note to clients on Sunday.

Gold moved down 0.4 per cent in early morning trading to $1227.95 per troy ounce. The dollar traded flat and oil prices rose.


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