Wall Street looks to commence its holiday-shortened session in the red, after its worst week of trading since the financial crisis of 2008 – US pre-market futures negative across the board.

Note: The US financial markets will close early on Monday, at 1:00pm EST, in celebration of Christmas Eve.

This bleak sentiment follows suit to Friday’s session which saw the US stock market close out with its biggest weekly drop in years as the looming threat of a partial US government shutdown prompted investors to throw in the towel after a string of volatile trading sessions.

The benchmark S&P 500 index had been up as much as +1.5% early in the day after John Williams, president of the New York Fed, attempted to calm investors; telling CNBC the central bank would enter 2019 with its eyes “wide open” and willing to reassess its outlook if the economy’s performance deteriorates – but those gains proved fleeting into the afternoon.

The S&P closed down -2.62%, at a 17-month low, positioned down -17.5% from its September 20 peak, with all S&P 500 sectors finishing in the red on Friday.

Underscoring the market’s apprehension over slowing economic growth were Technology (-3.46%), Financial (-2.61%) and Industrial (-2.49%) sectors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended -2.1% lower, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the session down -3.1%.

For the week, the S&P 500 chalked up declines of -8.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq both recorded a retreat of -6.9% and -8.4%, respectively.

On today’s data front, investors are likely to monitor Chicago Fed National Activity data at 8:30am EST.

TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:

Politics: Steven Mnuchin sparks unease with unusual effort to reassure markets. (FT)
A ripple of unease has spread through financial markets after US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin’s highly unusual effort to reassure investors about Wall Street banks’ liquidity. In a statement issued on Sunday, Mr Mnuchin said the chiefs of the country’s biggest banks had confirmed to him that they had ample liquidity.
The statement appeared to be an attempt by the administration to calm nerves after a volatile week for traders and media reports that President Donald Trump was contemplating firing Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell.

Politics: Trump’s criticisms of the Fed may actually cause the central bank to ‘reassert itself’. (CNBC)
President Donald Trump’s vocal displeasure with the Federal Reserve may in fact create an opposite effect – a reassertion of its independence and policy tightening path.

Politics: Trump Administration Warns Shutdown Could Last into January. (The WSJ)
The Trump administration warned Sunday that the partial government shutdown could stretch into January, squeezing furloughed workers and shifting a high-stakes spending fight into a new Congress where Democrats control the House.

 

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:
Today’s Economical Announcements

08:30AM – Chicago Fed National Activity (Nov) (Previous: 0.24)
11:30AM – 3-Month Bill Auction (Previous: 2.375%)
11:30AM – 6-Month Bill Auction (Previous: 2.485%)
01:00PM – 2-Year Note Auction (Previous: 2.836%)

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

Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] Cut prices for its Model 3 in China by up to 7.6 percent, with the starting price for the car now at about $72,000.

Netflix (NFLX): [NEWS] Netflix will surpass Sky in U.K. subscribers by the end of the year, according to the Guardian newspaper.

CVS (CVS): [NEWS] Will be allowed to continue integration of insurer Aetna. A federal judge reviewing the already completed deal said he would not halt the process, after CVS offered to allow Aetna to continue to make critical decisions independently during the review.

Apple (AAPL): [NEWS] Chinese companies are urging employees to boycott Apple, according to Japan’s Nikkei newspaper.

Facebook (FB): [NEWS] The stock was removed from the “Best Ideas” list at Wedbush, which points to “Investment Price Discipline” for the move.

Amazon.com (AMZN): [NEWS] Amazon is among a number of companies being pressed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for more details about its revenue, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Snap (SNAP): [NEWS] Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is the subject of a critical article in today’s Wall Street Journal, which quotes analysts as saying that Spiegel’s “imperious” style of management is no longer effective.

Campbell Soup (CPB): [NEWS] Moving closer to divesting its international business, according to Reuters.

Apollo Global (APO): [NEWS] The private-equity firm is in discussions with China’s HNA to buy technology products distributor Ingram Micro, according to The Wall Street Journal.

MOMENTUM STOCKS:

GAINERS: –
LOSERS: PRGO, ARWR, CWH, CAG, DK, TWTR, CCL, PEB, PM

TODAY’S IPOs:

None.