Oil prices and an impending busy week of earnings have driven US equity index futures into negative territory, with stocks in Asia having traded largely lower as the Easter holiday weekend continued in many countries across Europe.

Adding to an earnings season catalyst comes a spike in oil prices, which had hit a 2019 high earlier this morning, pricing at $74 a barrel, following reports that the State Department is preparing to announce a further clampdown on Iranian oil exports, tightening global supplies.

These developments look to be overshadowed by a full flow of corporate reporting, with investors now expected to look for clues as to whether the Fed’s dovish policy can shore up global growth enough to overlook a possible contraction in US company earnings, following a period of global economic turbulence.

These moves in pre-market trading come after Thursday’s session where the S&P 500’s attempt to reclaim a record high faltered as the benchmark’s three-week winning streak came to an end ahead of Good Friday.

The session saw the S&P 500 overcome an early morning move to finish +0.20% higher; posting a weekly change of -0.1%, its first decline in four weeks.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw daily gains of +0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite closed just +0.13% higher.

Thursday’s session also hosted Wall Street debuts from both Pinterest (PINS: +28%) and Zoom (ZM: +72%), with both IPOs having traded sharply higher.

In today’s earnings calendar; Existing Home Sales data is expected to be released at 10am EST.

In corporate news; Halliburton (HAL), Whirlpool (WHR), Kimberly-Clark (KMB) and McDermott (MDR) are amongst the major companies scheduled to report their financials today.


Oil & Energy: Oil hits a 2019 high on the US plan to tighten squeeze on Iran. (CNBC)
Oil topped $74 a barrel on Monday, the highest since November, with the United States set to announce a further clampdown on Iranian oil exports, tightening global supplies.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Says Jihadist Group Behind Blasts That Killed 290. (Bloomberg)
Sri Lanka’s government has blamed local jihadist group National Thowheed Jamath for one of Asia’s deadliest terrorist attacks in years, and said other nations had shared intelligence ahead of the blasts.

Today’s Economical Announcements.

08:30AM – ★★☆ – Chicago Fed Activity (Mar) (Previous: -0.29)
09:45AM –
★★☆ – Manufacturing PMI (Apr) (Previous: 52.4)
10:00AM –
★★★ – Existing Home Sales (Mar) (Previous: 5.51M)

Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.

Kimberly-Clark (KMB): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 12 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.66 per share. Revenue also beat forecasts, helped by higher selling prices and cost reductions which helped offset higher commodity prices and currency headwinds.

Halliburton (HAL): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 23 cents per share, a penny a share above estimates. Revenue also topped forecasts. Halliburton said it is seeing a broad-based recovery across its international markets, and added that it believes the worst in pricing deterioration is now behind it.

Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] CEO Elon Musk will hold an investor event at the automaker’s California headquarters, focusing on Tesla’s self-driving efforts. Separately, Musk and the SEC both asked a federal judge for more time to negotiate a settlement over the SEC’s attempt to hold Musk in contempt of court for recent tweets.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY): [NEWS] The company is reconstituting its board, with five independent directors stepping down and the company’s founders and co-chairmen departing the board as well. Lead independent director Patrick Gaston has been named as the new chairman.

Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is the subject of a New York Times article that raises safety concerns about the 787 Dreamliner due to what the paper calls “shoddy production and weak oversight” at the jet maker’s South Carolina factory.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Mizuho Securities, with Mizuho pointing to reports that the company may make a bid for Anadarko Petroleum.

DR Horton (DHI): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to ”market perform” from “outperform” at Keefe Bruyette and Woods, with the firm citing valuation for its call. KBW’s price target for the home builder’s stock remains at $47 per share.

T-Mobile US (TMUS): [NEWS] T-Mobile CEO John Legere has been trying to address the Justice Department’s concerns over the wireless carrier’s proposed merger with rival Sprint, according to a Bloomberg report.

Amazon (AMZN): [NEWS] Amazon confirmed earlier reports that it was launching an ad-supported free version of its Amazon Music service. Those reports had weighed on shares of rival Spotify.

Kroger (KR): [NEWS] Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen told The Wall Street Journal that the grocery chain’s strategy will help it grow again, despite challenges in the grocery business presented by Whole Foods owner Amazon and Walmart.