US equity-index futures ticked higher on Thursday, while markets in Europe, Hong Kong and Australia remained closed, during quiet, post-Christmas trading.
Ahead of the holiday, the S&P 500 (+0.00%) had ended flat, in an otherwise record-breaking market environment, after President Donald Trump told reporters that the US and China were close to signing a "phase one" trade agreement.
In recent developments, earlier this morning, a spokesman for China's commerce ministry said that China was in close touch with the US on signing the accord. He added that the world's two largest economies were still going through the necessary procedures before doing so.
In today’s economic calendar, Thursday includes; Weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30am EST.
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Business: Shoppers Rushed to Online Retailers. (The WSJ)
Total US retail sales for Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve rose 3.4% from a year earlier, according to Mastercard, which tracks both online and in-store spending with all forms of payment.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s Malls Targeted by Protesters During Christmas. (Bloomberg)
Hong Kong’s shopping malls have become a flash point for protests during the Christmas holiday, with more rallies set for Thursday.
Today's Economical Announcements.
08:30AM - ★☆☆ - Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 234,000)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI): [NEWS] Said its experimental treatment for non-small cell lung cancer missed its primary goal in a mid-stage trial.
Qiagen (QGEN): [NEWS] Decided against a sale of the company following a review. The Netherlands-based genetic testing firm said it determined that operating as a stand-alone business is its best option. Qiagen said it had gotten several indications of interest, with reports saying one of those potential bids came from medical device maker Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Amazon.com (AMZN): [NEWS] Said the holiday shopping season broke all prior records, with “billions” of items ordered worldwide and “tens of millions” Amazon devices purchased.
Boeing (BA): [NEWS] New documents reviewed by a congressional panel revealed what’s being called “very disturbing” revelations regarding the grounded 737 Max jet, according to a congressional aide quoted by Reuters.
PayPal (PYPL): [NEWS] Will continue to pursue potential takeover targets in 2020, according to Chief Financial Officer John Rainey. He told the Wall Street Journal there are many acquisition opportunities in the payments sector, with PayPal targeting transactions in the $1 billion to $3 billion range.
Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX): [NEWS] Oil stocks could get a boost as oil prices touch their highest in more than 3 months, boosted by a report showing lower U.S. crude inventories.
TiVo (TIVO): [NEWS] Said it would pay a termination fee of $50.8 million to technology licensing company Xperi under certain circumstances, if their planned all-stock merger does not take place. There are other termination scenarios, according to an SEC filing, in which Xperi would pay TiVo $44 million.
KKR (KKR): [NEWS] Is buying digital content platform Overdrive from Rakuten for an undisclosed amount. The Japanese e-commerce company purchased Overdrive in 2015 for $410 million.
GAINERS: MBOT, PRVB, RAD
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