Friday November 22nd


Stock futures edge higher, attempting to snap a three-day losing streak

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Friday morning, following three straight days of market losses. Around 6:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a positive open of about 30 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both seen marginally higher. Wall Street closed lower on Thursday amid uncertainty over U.S.-China trade. Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday that Beijing wants to work for a trade deal with the U.S. but is not afraid to “fight back.” Reinforcing the upbeat tone adopted by China in recent days, Xi told a visiting U.S. business delegation that China holds a ‘positive attitude’ toward the trade talks. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that China had invited the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Beijing for further talks. However, it is unclear whether the invitation was accepted. The investment community is unsure whether both countries will sign some sort of trade agreement in the coming weeks. Morgan Stanley said Thursday that a phase one deal is perhaps the furthest both countries will go. On the data front, manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and service-sector PMI figures for November will be released at around 9:45 a.m. ET. Consumer sentiment for November and the latest Kansas City Fed Survey will follow slightly later in the session. Investors are also likely to closely monitor comments from Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams on Friday morning. In corporate news, the earnings calendar is thin, with only Foot Locker and J.M. Smucker due to report before the bell. WeWork is due to present a five-year strategic plan to its board of directors. Stocks in Asia were mixed on Friday following days of declines this week amid U.S.-China trade confusion. Mainland Chinese stocks fell on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.63% to about 2,885.29 and the Shenzhen component shedding 1.51% to 9,626.90. The Shenzhen composite also fell 1.454% to around 1,607.51. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was about 0.3% higher, as of its final hour of trading. Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.32% to close at 23,112.88 while the Topix index ended its trading day 0.12% higher at 1,691.34. In South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.26% higher at 2,101.96. Oil prices pulled back from their highest levels in nearly two months on Friday amid lingering doubts on whether the United States and China will be able to reach a partial trade deal that would lift some pressure on the global economy. That was more than enough to offset news of a likely extension of production cuts by major producers that drove prices higher in the previous session. Brent crude futures dropped 14 cents, or 0.2%, to $63.83 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 27 cents, also down 0.5%, to $58.31 per barrel. Gold prices were on track for a second straight weekly gain on Friday, as uncertainties about the fate of a “phase one” trade deal between the United States and China lingered. Spot gold inched 0.4% higher to $1,470.46 per ounce. The metal has gained about 0.3% in the week, after a 0.6% rise last week.U.S. gold futures climbed 0.5% to $1,470.70 per ounce.