US stock futures turned higher on Thursday as trade headlines continued to whipsaw global markets following President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over “threats against information, communications technology and services in the United States”.
The move, done via executive order, is expected to precede an initiated two-pronged attack on China; both barring companies deemed a national security threat from selling to the US, while threatening to blacklist Huawei, China’s largest technology company, from buying essential components and technology from American companies without prior government approval.
Outlining the decision, Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, had said in a statement that the decision looks to “prevent American technology from being used by foreign-owned entities in ways that potentially undermine US national security or foreign policy interests” – further highlighting the distance between China and the United States on trade, following their tit-for-tat tariff increases over recent months.
This morning’s upturn looks to extend upon Wednesday’s gains where Wall Street erased early declines, to end higher, as President Donald Trump delayed imposing tariffs on auto imports by up to six months; a move to avoid an immediate clash with the EU and Japan on trade.
The S&P 500, which had begun trading negative -0.7%, closed positive +0.59%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also ended higher, up +0.43%, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced +1.41% into the close, boosted by strong gains in Technology shares (+1.09%).
In today’s economic calendar, Thursday includes; Weekly Jobless Claims, Building Permits and Housing Starts data for April, as well as Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing and Employment data for May – all at 8:30am EST.
In corporate news; Walmart (WMT), Nvidia (NVDA), Applied Materials (AMAT), Pinterest (PINS) and Baidu (BIDU) are amongst the major companies scheduled to release their latest financials today.
TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES
China & Technology: US Targets Huawei as It Seeks to Revive China Trade Talks. (The WSJ)
President Trump signed an executive order that would let the US ban telecommunications gear from “foreign adversaries” underscoring tensions with China even as the US said it would likely resume trade talks soon in Beijing after reaching an impasse last week.
Today’s Economical Announcements.
08:30AM – ★☆☆ – Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 228,000)
08:30AM – ★★★ – Building Permits (Apr) (Previous: 1.288M)
08:30AM – ★★☆ – Housing Starts (Apr) (Previous: 1.139M)
08:30AM – ★★☆ – Philly Fed Manuf. Index (May) (Previous: 8.5)
08:30AM – ★★☆ – Philly Fed Employment (May) (Previous: 14.7)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Cisco Systems (CSCO): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 78 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of 77 cents a share. Revenue beat Street, and Cisco also gave better-than-expected current-quarter revenue guidance.
Walmart (WMT): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.13 per share, 11 cents a share above Wall Street forecasts. Revenue came in below estimates, however, largely due to currency-related headwinds.
Flowers Foods (FLO): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 32 cents per share, 2 cents a share above estimates. Revenue beat forecasts. Higher prices helped overcome slower sales.
KB Home (KBH): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “outperform” from “sector perform” at RBC Capital Markets, which pointed to improvements in the home builder’s pricing.
Pfizer (PFE): [REVIEW] Was named a “top pick” at Credit Suisse following a meeting with Pfizer’s management team. Credit Suisse said the meeting increased its confidence in both management and the prospects for Pfizer’s new products.
PG&E (PCG): [NEWS] The utility’s transmission lines caused California’s Camp Fire last year, according to a determination by state fire investigators. The fire, which killed 85 people, was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.
XPO Logistics (XPO): [NEWS] Investors rejected a shareholder proposal calling for an independent chair, and also approved the logistics company’s executive compensation plan. The debate over executive compensation came amid a 50% drop in shares over the past eight months and a profit forecast for 2019 that has been lowered twice.
At Home Group (HOME): [NEWS] Reuters reported that Kohl’s (KSS) had approached the home décor retailer about possibly acquiring it.
Dillard’s (DDS): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 19 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $2.99 per share. Revenue was in line with forecasts, however comparable-store sales were flat compared to expectations of a 1.3% increase.
Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] The automaker’s senior director of communications, Dave Arnold, is leaving Tesla after 2-1/2 years, according to sources who spoke to TechCrunch.
DECLINERS: OSTK, A, GSKY