US equity index futures parade gains into Wednesday’s opening bell, following suit to upbeat comments from President Donald Trump over the prospect of securing a trade deal with China.

The pre-market move came as the President said; talks between Washington and Beijing were ongoing while confirming that there will not be a raise in tariffs on Chinese imports until a comprehensive trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies is ruled out.

These developments shadow over Tuesday’s session where Wall Street turned lower, erasing earlier gains, as President Donald Trump’s threat to allow a government shutdown over congressional funding for a border wall damped economic optimism.

The S&P 500, which had advanced as much as +1.4% earlier in the session, ended positive just +0.02%, as gains in Consumer Staples (+0.82) were offset by declines in Financial (-0.97) and Industrial (-0.59%) sectors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell -0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite closed +0.33% higher.

In today’s data front, investors are likely to closely monitor; CPI figures for November scheduled for release at 8:30am ET, with the monthly Federal Budget Balance set to follow later in the day at 2:00pm EST.

In corporate news; Nordson (NDSN), The Progressive Corporation (PGR), Oxford Industries (OXM), Tailored Brands (TLRD) and KalVista Pharmaceuticals (KALV) are all expected to release their latest quarterly figures today.

TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:

Brexit & UK: Theresa May Faces Confidence Vote Today on Her Leadership. (Bloomberg)
Theresa May will face a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party as the embattled UK prime minister warned the rebels who want her out that they will be putting Brexit at risk.

Politics & Economy: Trump Boosts Shutdown Odds by Hardening Demands for Border Wall. (Bloomberg)
An Oval Office confrontation between Donald Trump and the top two Democrats in Congress has set Washington on course for a partial government shutdown next week, as the president hardened demands for border wall funding and vowed to take responsibility for the impasse.

Politics: Trump says he could intervene in the case against Huawei CFO if it helps US-China deal. (CNBC)
US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would intervene with the US Justice Department in the case against a Chinese telecommunications executive if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:
Today’s Economical Announcements

08:30AM – Core CPI (YoY) (Nov) (Previous: 2.1%)
08:30AM – Core CPI (MoM) (Nov) (Previous: 0.2%)
08:30AM – CPI (YoY) (Nov) (Previous: 2.5%)
08:30AM – CPI (MoM) (Nov) (Previous: 0.3%)
10:30AM – Crude Oil Inventories (Previous: -7.323M)
14:00AM – Federal Budget Balance (Nov) (Previous: -100.0B)

 

STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks

Mallinckrodt (MNK): [NEWS] The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a reformulated version of the British drug maker’s opioid painkiller Roxicodone.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment (PLAY): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by six cents with quarterly profit of 30 cents per share. Revenue beat estimates.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly earnings of 48 cents per share, in line with analyst forecasts. Revenue below forecasts.

Pivotal Software (PVTL): [EARNINGS] Lost five cents per share for its third quarter, three cents less than analysts had expected. Revenue beat forecasts.

EBay (EBAY): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “equal-weight” from “overweight” at Morgan Stanley, which also cut its price target on the online marketplace operator’s stock to $33 per share from $55 based on tepid projections for growth.

Verizon (VZ): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “equal-weight” from “overweight” at Morgan Stanley, which notes Verizon’s year-to-date outperformance compared to both the S&P 500 and rival AT&T.

Bank of America (BAC): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods amid the firm’s overall downgrade of the banking sector to “market weight” from “overweight”.

Morgan Stanley (MS): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods amid the firm’s overall downgrade of the banking sector to “market weight” from “overweight”.

First Solar (FSLR): [FORECAST] Gave an upbeat forecast for fiscal 2019.

Marriott International (MAR): [NEWS] Revealed cyberattack has been linked to a Chinese government spy agency, according to a report in the New York Times.

Nvidia (NVDA): [NEWS] Japan’s SoftBank is planning to sell its stake in the graphics chipmaker early in 2019.

Lululemon (LULU): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Citi, which notes that even winning brands among athletic apparel maker have been taken down on fears of a macroeconomic slowdown.

MOMENTUM STOCKS:

GAINERS: CORT
LOSERS: ARMK, URBN, BHF

TODAY’S IPOs:

Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) (Price: 13) (Shares: 82M)