Wednesday March 6th


Dow futures point to a lower open as investors monitor US-China trade developments

U.S. stock index futures were lower Wednesday morning as market players remain focused on U.S.-China trade developments. At around 02:11 a.m. ET, Dow futures fell 48 points, indicating a negative open of more than 22 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq also pointed to a lower open. Wall Street ended Tuesday's session lower, as investors continued to search for clarity in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. This remains the biggest topic that stock investors are watching for. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday he thought Washington and Beijing were "on the cusp" of reaching a deal. Despite positive comments from different members of the U.S. administration, market players are yet to find out how far-reaching any deal could be. On the economic front, there will be ADP employment numbers at 8.15 a.m. ET and international trade figures out at 8.30 a.m. ET. On the corporate calendar, Luxottica Group, Brown-Forman, Dollar Tree and Abercrombie & Fitch are set to report before the bell. Furthermore, New York Fed President John Williams and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester are set to speak later on Wednesday. Mainland Chinese shares bounced strongly on Wednesday afternoon as markets took hope in stimulus measures announced by Beijing on Tuesday. The Shanghai composite surged 1.57 percent to close at 3,102.10 and the Shenzhen component rose 1.09 percent to end the day at 9,700.49. The Shenzhen composite jumped 1.49 percent to close at 1,660.41. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also traded in positive territory, adding 0.17 percent. Stimulus measures announced by Beijing on Tuesday included infrastructure spending and cuts in taxes and fees worth nearly 2 trillion yuan ($289.28 billion). The rest of Asia was more subdued. Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 0.6 percent to close at 21,596.81, and the Topix slipped 0.25 percent to end at 1,615.25. In South Korea, the Kospi slipped 0.17 percent to close at 2,175.60. Oil prices fell on Wednesday as bullish output forecasts by two big U.S. producers and a build in weekly U.S. crude stockpiles outweighed OPEC-led production cuts. International Brent crude futures were at $65.47 per barrel at 0745 GMT, down 39 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last settlement. Brent had dropped to as low as $65.22 earlier in the session on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were down 0.7 percent, or 41 cents, at $56.15 per barrel. Gold prices inched up on Wednesday, after recovering from a more than five-week low in the previous session, supported by a pause in global equities' rally, while a firmer dollar curbed gains. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,290.04 per ounce, as of 0654 GMT, after slipping to $1,280.70 in the previous session, its lowest since Jan. 25. U.S. gold futures were up about 0.4 percent at $1,289.60 per ounce.