Equities

Wall Street in focus amid earnings, data and trade talks


U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower Thursday morning.At around 02:20 a.m. ET, Dow futures slipped 48 points, indicating a negative open of more than 39 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both seen marginally lower.Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after U.S. legislation on Hong Kong threatened to derail trade discussions between the world’s two largest economies.On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills intended to support protestors in Hong Kong. It prompted Beijing to accuse the U.S. of interfering in domestic affairs.The move came as trade experts and people close to the Trump administration suggested the completion of a limited trade agreement could be pushed into 2020, according to Reuters. The Wall Street Journal also reported Wednesday, citing former Trump administration officials, that ongoing U.S.-China trade talks could hit an impasse.The U.S. and China have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.Data, earningsOn the data front, the latest weekly jobless claims and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing figures for November will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET. Existing home sales for October will follow slightly later in the session.Market participants are likely to closely monitor speeches from policymakers at the U.S. central bank on Thursday. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari are both expected to comment on the world’s largest economy.In corporate news, Macy’s, Berry Global and BJ’s Wholesale will report earnings before the opening bell.Gap, Intuit and Splunk are among some of the companies poised to release their latest quarterly results after market close.

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