U.S. stock futures pointed to another tough session for Wall Street on Friday, with investors unable to quell their fears over U.S-China trade relations and global growth and taking money off the table in the process.
How are major indexes faring?
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
fell 88 points, or 0.4%, to 25,044, while S&P 500 futures
dropped 9.10 points, or 0.3%, to 2,695.25 and Nasdaq-100 futures
dipped 30 points, or 0.4%, to 6,875.75.
On Thursday, the Dow
slid 220.77 points, or 0.9%, to 25,169.53, while the S&P 500
retreated 25.56 points, or 0.9%, to 2,706.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index
fell 86.93 points, or 1.2%, to 7,288.35.
For the week as of Thursday, the Dow is looking at a gain of 0.4%, the Nasdaq Composite is up 0.3%, while the S&P 500 is flat.
What’s driving the market?
Trade-war jitters remain a burning issue for investors, with Asian markets picking up the selling baton after U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he had no plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 trade-deal deadline.
Adding to the tensions was a report that Trump will sign an executive order next week banning Chinese wireless equipment from U.S. networks ahead of the MWC Barcelona conference at the end of this month. Citing sources, Politico reported that the move was aimed at protecting the U.S. from cyber threats.
The hot-button trade topic resurfaced earlier Thursday after National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said during an interview with Fox Business Network that there is still a long way to go before the U.S. will strike a trade deal with China. Previous talks covered “a tremendous amount of ground” but enforcement will be the key, he said.
CNBC also reported that a meeting between President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping isn’t likely before a March 1 deadline, but the U.S. is likely to keep tariffs at 10% rather than raise them to 25% as scheduled.
Growth worries were also sticking around, with concerns China’s slowdown has hit Europe, after weak data and forecasts from the single-currency region on Thursday. It will be a quiet day for data in the U.S., with wholesale inventories for December due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said late Thursday that he thinks the central bank’s current interest-rate policy stance is slightly restrictive, when it should be more concerned about the slower growth and weaker inflation expected this year.
What are analysts saying?
“Up to now the markets have been optimistic about a trade deal being reached, despite little solid evidence. Trump’s stance is now rattling investor nerves just weeks before the deadline,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, in a note to clients.
“With U.S. corporate earnings starting to dry up, traders’ full focus will soon be back on trade developments. With no deal in sight this will have a negative bias on equity market flows,” he added.
How are other markets trading?
In Asia, the Nikkei 225
dropped 2% on trade tensions, while the South Korea Kospi
fell over 1%. Markets in Hong Kong and China remain closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600
was setting up for a weaker session.
was lower, along with gold
, while the U.S. dollar
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