Asian and European stocks gained alongside US equity index futures ahead of Friday’s open as worries surrounding a slowdown in global growth were dissipated by hopes of a trade agreement between the US and China.
These moves in pre-market came after Chinese Vice Premier, Liu He, spoke via telephone with US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to which Chinese state media reported that Washington and Beijing made “concrete progress” in regards to their trade pact – earlier this morning.
Prompting further optimism, Donald Trump said at a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House, yesterday; “We’ll have news on China. Probably one way or the other, we’re going to know over the next three to four weeks” – China has been “very responsible and very reasonable” the president added.
These developments came after Mnuchin said, on Thursday, that a summit to secure a comprehensive trade agreement between President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would not happen at the end of March, as previously discussed – instead, pushed back into April.
It was this delay of the US-China summit that weighed on US stocks, sending the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lower – putting an end to their three-day winning streaks.
Reports that a meeting between the presidents of China and the US would be pushed back into April from March, carried by Bloomberg, were reflected by a range of assets.
The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended the session lower, -0.06% and -0.17%, respectively – with Industrial (-0.33%) and Consumer Discretionary (-0.3%) shares being the main laggards.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a +0.07% gain, on a strong day for shares in Apple (AAPL: +1.11%) and Visa (V: +1.13%).
Throughout today’s session, in the economic calendar; an Empire State Manufacturing Survey for March is scheduled at 8:30am ET, followed by Industrial Production data for February at 9:15am EST, Consumer Sentiment for March at 10am EST and the Job Openings for January at 10am EST.
TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:
Brexit: UK Parliament Votes to Delay Brexit as Turmoil Drags On. (The WSJ)
British lawmakers voted to delay the UK’s departure from the European Union, setting up Prime Minister Theresa May for a pivotal week ahead in which she will likely aim to coerce recalcitrant elements of her Conservative Party into backing a deal they have soundly rejected twice.
New Zealand: 49 people killed in shootings at New Zealand mosques. (CNBC)
About 49 people were killed when at least one shooter opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday. New Zealand Police have charged a man in his late twenties with murder.
Today’s Economical Announcements
08:30AM – ★★☆ – NY State Manufacturing (Mar) (Previous: 8.80)
09:15AM – ★★☆ – Industrial Prod. (MoM) (Feb) (Previous: -0.6%)
09:15AM – ★★☆ – Industrial Prod. (YoY) (Previous: 3.8%)
10:00AM – ★★☆ – Michigan Consumer Expect. (Mar) (Previous: 84.4)
10:00AM – ★★☆ – Michigan Consumer Sent. (Mar) (Previous: 93.8)
10:00AM – ★★★ – JOLTs Job Openings (Jan) (Previous: 7.335M)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks
Ulta Beauty (ULTA): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of $3.61 per share, 5 cents a share above estimates. Revenue above forecasts. Comparable sales jumped 9.4 percent on an increase in customer traffic.
Broadcom (AVGO): [EARNINGS] Exceeded analysts’ forecasts by 32 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of $5.55 per share. Revenue came in below estimates, however, amid a slowdown in its China business.
Zumiez (ZUMZ): [EARNINGS] Earned $1.18 per share for its latest quarter, 7 cents a share above estimates. Revenue below forecasts – Zumiez forecast a current-quarter loss of 7 to 13 cents per share, compared with a consensus estimate of 7 cents a share loss.
Oracle (ORCL): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 87 cents per share, 3 cents a share above estimates. Revenue beat forecasts and the business software company forecast current-quarter revenue below estimates, citing the strengthening dollar.
Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] Tesla unveiled its Model Y SUV, with CEO Elon Musk saying deliveries would begin in the fall of 2020 at a starting price of $47,000.
Facebook (FB): [NEWS] Announced the departure of Chief Product Officer Chris Cox and WhatsApp division head Chris Daniels.
Adobe Systems (ADBE): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 9 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.71 per share. Revenue topped forcasts, however Adobe issued lower-than-expected current-quarter guidance.
MGM (MGM): [NEWS] The company’s MGM China unit was granted a casino license extension in Macau until 2022, putting its expiration in line with rivals.
Newell Brands (NWL): [NEWS] CEO Michael Polk will retire at the end of the second quarter after serving in that role since 2011.
Netflix (NFLX): [REVIEW] BMO Capital moved Netflix to “top pick,” replacing Amazon, based on increased regulatory risk for Amazon and virtually none for Netflix.
Amazon.com (AMZN): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “overweight” from “sector weight” at KeyBanc, which pointed to Amazon’s moves to improve profitability at its core retail operation.
AT&T (T): [UPGRADE] Raymond James upgraded AT&T to “outperform” from “market perform,” citing the prospect of improved earnings growth and the delivering of AT&T’s balance sheet.
Jabil (JBL): [EARNINGS] Came in 3 cents a share above estimates, with adjusted quarterly profit of 64 cents per share. Revenue in line with expectations.
Apple (AAPL): [NEWS] Apple responded to Spotify Technology’s European Union complaint that it unfairly limits rivals to its own streaming music service, Apple Music. Apple said it had approved nearly 200 updates to Spotify’s app, and only requested changes when Spotify tried to sidestep platform rules.
Rent-A-Center (RCII): [NEWS] Rent-A-Center was within its rights to abandon a merger deal with private-equity firm Vintage Capital in 2018, according to a ruling by a Delaware state court. The rent-to-own company also says Vintage owes it a $126.5 million termination fee, but that issue has not been decided yet by the court.
GAINERS: MDB, SNAP, SMAR, SWCH, YETI, MYGN, YETI
LOSERS: CLDR, LL, MIK, WYND
Trine Acquisition (TRNEU) (Price: 10) (Shares: 26.1M)