Stateside equity index futures rose modestly on Wednesday, alongside offshore markets in Europe, ahead of what’s scheduled to be a busy day on Wall Street, as investors await a European Central Bank rate decision, American inflation data and minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting in March for further insight into the outlook of monetary policy and global economic stability in the months ahead.
US stocks closed lower on Tuesday, pressured by both a forecast of predicted slower global growth in 2019, issued by the International Monetary Fund, paired with escalated trade tensions between the US and the European Union.
Widespread sector declines saw the S&P 500 fail to extend its recent eight-session winning streak, finishing -0.51% lower; terminating what had been the benchmark’s longest winning run since October 2017. All sectors with the exception of Utilities (+0.24%), a typically defensive sector, finished negative.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite finished lower on similar terms, down -0.65% and -0.35% respectively.
Ahead, today’s economic calendar includes; the Consumer Price Index for March at 8:30am EST, Oil Inventories for the week ended April 5, at 10:30am EST, followed by the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting, held on March 20, in which the central bank maintained interest rates steady and signalled that it was unlikely to lift rates in 2019 at 2pm EST.
In corporate news; Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) are amongst the major companies scheduled to report their earnings today.
TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:
Brexit: EU to grant Brexit delay but may demand a longer extension and conditions. (Reuters) The European Union will grant Prime Minister Theresa May a second delay to Brexit at an emergency summit on Wednesday but the bloc’s leaders are likely to demand she accepts a longer extension with conditions.
IPO: Uber Seeks About $10 Billion in Year’s Biggest IPO. (CNBC) Investors could get their first look at hundreds of pages of detailed information about Uber Technologies Inc. as soon as Thursday, as the ride-hailing giant gears up to publicly file for an initial public offering.
ECONOMIC CALENDAR: Today’s Economical Announcements
08:30AM – ★★★ – Core CPI (MoM) (Mar) (Previous: 0.1%) 08:30AM – ★★☆ – Core CPI (YoY) (Mar) (Previous: 2.1%) 08:30AM – ★★☆ – CPI (MoM) (Mar) (Previous: 0.2%) 08:30AM – ★☆☆ – CPI (YoY) (Mar) (Previous: 1.5%) 10:30AM – ★★★ – Crude Oil Inventories (Previous: 7.238M) 02:00PM – ★★★ – FOMC Meeting Minutes
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks
Levi Strauss (LEVI): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 37 cents per share and revenue of $1.44 billion in its first quarterly report since its March initial public offering. Revenue was up 7% compared to the year-ago quarter.
Delta Air Lines (DAL): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 96 cents per share, 6 cents a share above estimates. Revenue topped forecasts and the company said it planned to keep capacity stable during the summer travel season.
JetBlue (JBLU): [NEWS] JetBlue may announce as early as today that it will begin transatlantic service.
WD-40 (WDFC): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of $1.14 per share, beating estimates by 2 cents a share. The lubricant maker’s revenue came in short of Wall Street forecasts.
Under Armour (UAA): [UPGRADE] Citi upgraded its rating on the athletic apparel maker to “buy” from “neutral,” citing Under Armour’s renewed focus on profitability.
Nordstrom (JWN): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “overweight” from “sector weight” at KeyBanc, with the firm citing several factors including valuation, and a view that demand weakness is “transient.”
Apple (AAPL): [DOWNGRADE] Cut to “reduce” from “hold” at HSBC, say the company’s shift in focus to and investment in services will take time to produce returns.
Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Boeing was accused of defrauding shareholders by concealing safety deficiencies in its 737 Max jets before the two fatal crashes that led to their grounding. The accusations came in a proposed class action suit filed in Chicago.
Walt Disney (DIS): [UPGRADE] BMO Capital upgraded Disney to “outperform” from “market perform,” seeing a number of positive catalysts on the near-term horizon.
Procter & Gamble (PG): [DIVIDEND] Raised its quarterly dividend by 4% to 75 cents per share, marking the 63rd consecutive year that the consumer products giant has increased its quarterly payout.
Netflix (NFLX): [NEWS] Netflix is in talks to buy Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Wendy’s (WEN): [RATING] Rated “outperform” in new coverage at Cowen, which praises the restaurant chain’s strategy and notes an attractive valuation for the stock.
AT&T (T): [NEWS] The company is exploring the sale of its HBO Europe unit in order to pay down debt, according to a report in the Financial Times.
PG&E (PCG): [NEWS] A bankruptcy judge has deferred a ruling on whether the California utility can pay up to $350 million in bonuses to 10,000 employees. The judge said he wanted more details on the company’s plans to prevent future California wildfires.
Foot Locker (FL): [DOWNGRADE] Citi downgraded the athletic footwear and apparel retailer to “neutral” from “buy,” acknowledging its strong finish to 2018 but expressing concerns about Nike’s direct-to-consumer ambitions among other factors.
JD.com (JD): [NEWS] Denied reports that it plans to cut up to eight percent of Its workforce. The Information had reported plans for the China e-commerce company to cut up to 12,000 jobs.
GAINERS: CERN, OKTA, AVYA, CPB DECLINERS: X, ZGNX, MC, BA