WEDNESDAY – U.S. stocks were lower Wednesday as worries over U.S.-China trade relations dampened sentiment around a record-setting rally.
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing former Trump administration officials, that the ongoing trade talks could hit an impasse that would derail a so-called “phase one” trade deal. Uncertainty around trade also grew after the Senate passed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters. This led China to accuse the U.S. of interfering in domestic affairs.
The Dow pulled back from record highs on Tuesday amid losses from Boeing and Home Depot while investors monitored earnings and developments in the U.S.-China trade talks. There is lingering uncertainty among investors about the possibility of a deal between both countries, despite comments last month suggesting they were close to signing a partial agreement.
Elsewhere, investors are awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October policy meeting at 2 p.m. The U.S. central bank decided to lower the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% late last month.
In corporate news, Target shares jumped more than 8% in the premarket after the retailer posted quarterly results that easily beat expectations. Target also raised its full-year profit outlook.
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THURSDAY – U.S. stock index futures rose Thursday after a draft Brexit deal was struck between the European Union and the U.K.
Around 7:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 82 points, indicating a gain of about 70 points at the open. Prior to the Brexit reports, futures had been trading flat to lower. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also higher.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal” via Twitter. He called on British lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday. Meanwhile, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that the deal was a “fair and balanced” one.
Nonetheless, markets rallied on the Brexit reports, as the deal removed some investor uncertainty amid heightened concerns about the health of the global economy. On Wednesday, unexpectedly weak U.S. retail sales data fueled fears about a possible recession.
Global economic data points to slower growth, while the U.S. manufacturing sector is already contracting. Among the greatest of the worries plaguing markets is the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
The latest weekly jobless claims figures, housing starts and building permits for September, and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index for October will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Industrial production data for September will follow slightly later in the session.
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