North American equity index futures were little changed ahead of the New York open, amid a loss in momentum of a recent global stock market rally, while market participants await further developments surrounding US-China trade negotiations and the release of Non-Farm Payrolls, tomorrow, in Washington.
President Trump will meet Chinese Vice Premier, Liu He, at the White House today, as negotiations over a trade deal between the world’s largest economies enter what could be the final stages; breaking the impasse that has weighed on markets and threatened to disrupt global supply chains.
The deal being crafted would give Beijing until 2025 to meet commitments on commodity purchases and allow American companies to wholly own enterprises in the Asian nation, according to people familiar with the talks.
It was these hopes that the US and China were closing in on a trade deal that energized stocks on Wednesday, following a report from the Financial Times that the two sides had smoothed out most outstanding issues.
The S&P 500 advanced +0.2%, after having gained +0.7% earlier in the session – weighed lower by disappointing data within the US services sector, which damped sentiment and briefly turned the benchmark index into negative territory during the final hour of trading.
Yesterday’s advance was particularly kind to Semiconductors (+2.21%), with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD: +8.49%) leading, amid hopes that a trade truce with Beijing would buoy chip demand.
The session saw the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finish +0.57% higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average regained just +0.12% into the close, following a gap-closure.
In today’s economic calendar; Weekly Jobless Claims are scheduled for release at 8:30am EST.
In corporate news; Constellation Brands (STZ) is amongst the major companies scheduled to report their financials today.
TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:
Politics & Trade: Trump plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday. (CNBC)
US President Donald Trump is planning to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday, according to a White House schedule. The event is scheduled to take place at 4:30pm EST in the Oval Office.
Today’s Economical Announcements
08:30AM – ★☆☆ – Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 211,000)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks
Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] Tesla deliveries fell 31 percent during the first quarter, as the automaker struggled with the longer transit times involved in its first Model 3 shipments to Europe and China. Tesla reaffirmed its prior guidance, however, of between 360,000 and 400,000 deliveries for 2019.
Constellation Brands (STZ): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.84 per share, 13 cents above estimates, revenue topped forecasts.
Micron Technology (MU): [DOWNGRADE] Morgan Stanley downgraded the chipmaker’s shares to “underweight” from “equal-weight,” noting the stock’s rally amid unchanging fundamentals and reiterating its concerns about a 25-year high in chip producer inventories.
Walt Disney (DIS): [NEWS & RATING] Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” set a one-day ticket sales record for the Fandango ticket-buying service, even though the movie doesn’t hit theaters until the end of this month. Separately, Goldman Sachs resumed coverage of Disney with a “buy” rating, making favorable comments about the closing of its Fox assets deal as well as the upcoming debut of its new streaming service.
Facebook (FB): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Guggeheim, which notes that despite concerns over privacy and harmful content, both businesses and consumers are increasing their use of the current digital ecosystem at record rates.
Roku (ROKU): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Guggenheim, pointing to risks such as the new Apple video product and the CEO’s recent share sale.
Office Depot (ODP): [NEWS] The office supplies retailer said its first-quarter profit would come in below forecasts, due to weakness at its CompuCom division.
PG&E (PCG): [NEWS] Named Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson as its new chief executive, with the California utility also announcing a new board of directors. It had been widely reported earlier that Johnson would be named CEO, as the utility deals with liabilities relating to the recent series of California wildfires.
Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Ethiopian authorities issuing a preliminary report on the recent crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet. The report faulted the flight control feature known as MCAS, which is also under scrutiny in the investigation of a Lion Air 737 Max jet last year.
JP Morgan Chase (JPM): [NEWS] CEO Jamie Dimon released his annual letter to shareholders, noting that the bank has received a substantial boost from lower tax rates, and saying that the bank plans to maintain a “fortress” balance sheet, among many other points in a long letter.
Netflix (NFLX): [NEWS] Netflix amended its bylaws to allow shareholders to nominate board members. Under the new rules, a shareholder or a group of up to 20 shareholders with a stake of at least three percent for a three-year period may nominate up to two directors. Shareholders had voted in favor of the so-called “proxy access” rule last year.
GAINERS: IOVA, AMD, NLSN, DAL, WYNN, JBL
DECLINERS: MTDR, MO, RTN, WBA
NGM Biopharmaceuticals (NGM) (Price: 16) (Est. Vol: $106.7M)
Replay Acquisition (RPLA.U) (Price: 10) (Est. Vol: $250.0M)
Silk Road Medical (SILK) (Price: 20) (Est. Vol: $120.0M)
Tradeweb Markets (TW) (Price: 27) (Est. Vol: $1.08B)