U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a solidly higher start for Wall Street after Beijing indicated it wasn’t in a rush to respond to the latest round of tariffs imposed by Washington.
How are the major benchmarks faring?
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
were up 251 points, or 1%, at 26,288, while S&P 500 futures
rose 25.7 points, or 0.9%, to 2,915.5. Nasdaq-100 futures
advanced 85 points, or 1.1%, to 7,683.5.
Stocks appear set to follow on Wednesday’s rebound, when the Dow
rose 258.20 points, or 1%, to close at 26,036.10. The S&P 500
advanced 18.78 points, or 0.7%, to end at 2,887.94. The Nasdaq Composite
closed at 7,856.88, for a gain of 29.94 points, or 0.4%.
With two sessions left in August, the Dow and S&P 500 are both down 3.1% for month to date, while the Nasdaq is off 3.9%. All three indexes remain higher for the year, with the S&P 500 down around 4.6% from its all-time closing high set in late July, while the Dow is off 4.8% from its record close and the Nasdaq is off 5.7% from its zenith.
What’s driving the market?
A spokesman for China’s commerce ministry was quoted in news reports as saying the country wouldn’t immediately respond to the latest round of tariff increases announced by President Donald Trump on Friday. Those increases came after Beijing announced a round of retaliatory tariffs.
The spokesman, Gao Feng, said “the question that should be discussed now is about removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation.” He also said both sides were discussing a planned meeting next month of trade negotiators.
“The largely hopeful tones of the update from China has lifted market sentiment, and that sparked buying this morning,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a note. “U.S.-China relations have been volatile recently, but for now there is a sense that things are heading in the right direction, and that has coaxed some traders back into the market.”
Investors were also looking ahead to a revised look at U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product and other economic data.
Stocks have pulled back in August in sometimes volatile trade as the U.S.-China trade war escalated with rounds of tit-for-tat tariff escalations and increasingly harsh rhetoric on both sides, which has also been blamed for heightening worries over the global economic outlook and stoking fears of a possible U.S. recession.
The economic calendar features weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Separately, investors will also get a revised look at second-quarter gross domestic product and an estimate of July advance trade in goods. First-time claims are forecast to tick up to 214,000 from 209,000 a week earlier, while the GDP growth estimate is expected to be trimmed to 1.9% from an initial 2.1%.
The July goods trade deficit is forecast to widen to $75 billion from $74.4 billion a month earlier. At 10 a.m., a pending home-sales index for July is due.
Which stocks are in focus?
Shares of Best Buy Co. Inc.
tumbled 5.5% in premarket action after the retailer reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of analyst expectations, though it beat earnings-per-share forecasts.
Shares of Dollar General Corp.
were up 8.5% in premarket trade after the discount retailer handily beat analyst estimates for sales and profits in the second quarter, while raising its outlook for the full-year 2019.
Tech Data Corp.’s
stock rose 5.4% ahead of the bell, after reporting fiscal third quarter results.
Dollar Tree Inc.
is also set to issue results before the start of trade Thursday.
How are other markets trading?
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note
rose 2.6 basis points to 1.49%.
In commodities markets, the price of crude oil
rose 0.6% to just above $56 per barrel, while the price of gold
edged 0.3% lower, to roughly $1545 per ounce. The value of the U.S. dollar, meanwhile, ticked 0.1%, according to the dollar index
In Asia overnight, stocks traded mostly lower; the China CSI 300
fell 0.3%, while the Nikkei 225
lost 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
meanwhile, rose 0.3%.