Friday May 24th


Dow set to rebound more than 100 points after Trump predicts a quick resolution to trade war

U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday after President Donald Trump said the ongoing trade war could be over quickly, but equities were still on pace to close lower for the week. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 168 points, indicating a gain of 145 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to solid gains at the open. Trump told reporters on Thursday afternoon he expected the U.S.-China trade war to end swiftly. He also noted a trade deal with China could lift tough restrictions on the Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The president’s comments lifted market sentiment at a time when investors are growing more convinced that the trade war will take longer than expected to conclude. The Dow and S&P 500 came into Friday’s session down more than 1% each for the week while the Nasdaq had lost 2.4%. Crude prices are down more than 6% this week as trade worries spilled over to other markets. Investors also loaded up on Treasurys this week. On Thursday, the 10-year Treasury note yield fell to its lowest level since October 2017. Energy and tech were the worst-performing sectors for the week coming into Friday. The energy sector is down 3.6% through Thursday’s close while tech — the largest S&P 500 sector by market weight — had lost 2.8%. Chipmakers led tech down this week as the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) dropped 5.1%. Qualcomm and Broadcom are the worst-performers in the ETF this week, dropping 16.3% and 10.3%, respectively. Apple shares also contributed to the tech losses as several analysts raised concern over the company’s exposure to China. The stock is down nearly 5% this week. “The growing worries around a US/China elongated trade battle and its implications on the tech space are heavily weighing on the minds of both investors and the companies themselves caught in the cross hairs,” Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to clients. “The ‘poster child’ for the US/China trade wars continue to be Apple with the stock under heavy pressure as many competitors are yelling fire in a crowded theater around the potential China impact to Cupertino if this situation worsens. Orders for durable or long-lasting goods fell sharply in April, mostly because of falling demand for Boeing jets and new cars and trucks. Business investment also continued to weaken, reflecting worries about the China trade fight and a slower U.S. economy. Orders for durable goods — products meant to last at least three years — dropped 2.1% in April, the government said Friday. The increase in orders in March was also marked down. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 2.4% decline in new orders. Asia Pacific markets traded mixed Friday, as worries over trade tensions between the United States and China weighed on investor sentiment. Mainland Chinese markets were mixed: The Shanghai composite closed flat while the Shenzhen composite fell 0.48%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added about 0.4% in late afternoon trade. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.16% to 21,117.22 while the Topix index was fractionally higher at 1,541.21. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.69% to 2,045.31. Oil prices recouped around 1% on Friday but were on track for their biggest weekly loss this year after swelling inventories and jitters over an economic slowdown led to big falls earlier in the week. Brent crude futures were at $68.48 per barrel at 0654 GMT, up 72 cents, or 1.1%, from their last close, with prices underpinned by OPEC supply cuts and Middle East tensions. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 66 cents, or 1.1%, at $58.57 per barrel. Gold prices held steady on Friday after rising above $1,280 in the previous session as weak U.S. data pushed the dollar off 2-year highs and reignited hopes of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve this year. Spot gold was steady at $1,283.21 per ounce by 0653 GMT, after rising as much as 1.1% to a one-week peak of 1,287.23 in the previous session. The metal has risen 0.5% so far this week. U.S. gold futures for June were down 0.2% at 1,283.10.