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US pre-open: Futures point to losses at the bell as trade war remains in focus

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 15 May 2019

US pre-open: Futures point to losses at the bell as trade war remains in focus

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures pointed to losses at the bell on Wednesday, following on from the Dow Industrials's strongest performance in a month, as trade concerns continue to mount.
As of 1215 BST, Dow Jones futures were pointing to a 0.26% decline at the open, while the S&P too and Nasdaq looked set to start the session 0.23% and 0.19% lower, respectively.

SpreadEx analyst Connor Campbell said: "Like the Eurozone, the Dow Jones doesn't appear to be feeling too chipper this Wednesday, spent after yesterday's overeager comeback.

"The futures have the index dropping under 25,500 following a 40 point slide, though with a retail sales reading - expected at 0.2% against the previous month's 1.6% - as a potential catalyst for change before the bell rings."

The Dow closed more than 200 points higher on Tuesday, recording its best day in a month, after Wall Street's main indices tumbled during the previous session after China announced its plans to raise tariffs on $60bn-worth of US imports on 1 June.

Despite Donald Trump, who took to Twitter earlier in the week to warn China that it would "hurt very badly" if it failed to make a trade deal, softening his tone on America's trade war with China on Tuesday, referring to it as a "little squabble" and insisting talks had not collapsed, international trade looked set to remain a key focus for market participants, with the President expected to decide on Friday whether or not to impose car tariffs on Europe.

Elsewhere, in commodities, oil pared some of its recent gains on reports that growth in US crude stocks was easing market concerns after a drone attack in Saudi Arabia highlighted the defencelessness of the nation's energy infrastructure.

As of 1215 BST, West Texas Intermediate was down 1.07% at $61.12 a barrel, while Brent Crude was changing hands at $70.83 per barrel - a 0.58% dip.

On the data front, retail sales figures for April will be posted at 1330 BST, while manufacturing numbers and industrial production figures for last month will be released at 1415 BST. Business inventories for March will be published at 1500 BST.

Discussing the upcoming retail sales figures, Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said: "The strong PCE print suggests US consumer spending is strong and we may well start to see the retail sales numbers print higher over the next few months. The US consumer is in fine shape and this could drive the dollar north."

In corporate news, retailer Macy's, networking outfit Cisco Systems and transport and logistics firm ZTO Express will all report their latest results on Wednesday.

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