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US pre-open: Futures point to losses as 'bizarre week' draws to an end

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Friday 17 May 2019

US pre-open: Futures point to losses as 'bizarre week' draws to an end

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were pointing to a negative open on Friday as tensions between Washington and Beijing remained at the forefront of investors' minds.
At 1200 BST, Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures were down 0.5%, while Nasdaq futures were 0.6% lower.

Major US indices, which closed higher in the previous session thanks to solid figures from the likes of Walmart and Cisco Systems, continued to be rattled by the escalating trade war between the US and China.

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said the "bizarre week" for markets now looked set to end on a negative note, a sign that investors still weren't feeling particularly comfortable despite a three-day winning streak.

"The week got off to a woeful start after China announced counter-tariffs against the US as trade talks broke down," said Erlam.

However, he noted that US President Trump had succeeded in calming investor fears by claiming the fallout was nothing more than a "little squabble" between the world's two largest economies.

"That proved enough to settle investors and markets have recovered since Monday but I wonder whether futures trading in the red heading into the weekend is a sign they're not entirely convinced," Erlam said.

In terms of data, Friday will be a relatively quiet day, with the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment numbers at 1500 BST being the only major piece of data due.

However, a number of Fed speeches will also be in focus, with Federal Reserve vice chair Richard Clarida speaking on the central bank's review of its monetary policy strategy at 1500 BST, followed by New York Fed president John Williams at 1615 BST and Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan at 1810 BST.

On the corporate front, Deere looked set for losses at the open despite its second-quarter results revealing an uptick in sales, while Nvidia was ahead in pre-market trading after the chipmaker published its second-quarter earnings overnight.

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