Friday November 29th


Stocks set to open lower but S&P 500 heads for best month since June

U.S. stock index futures were lower Friday morning ahead of a shortened trading session as investors wrapped up a banner month for stocks. Around 7:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a loss 43 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also pointed to slight losses at the open. Friday’s session will end at 1 p.m. after the market was closed Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The major averages, however, were headed for strong monthly gains despite Friday’s losses. The S&P 500 is up 3.8% through Wednesday’s close and is on pace for its biggest one-month gain since June, when it rallied more than 6%. The Dow and Nasdaq Composite are up 4.1% and 5%, respectively, for November. Stocks have been on fire this month in large part because of optimism around the U.S.-China trade negotiations. Back in October, President Donald Trump said the two sides had reached a “phase one” trade deal to be signed this month. But that optimism has taken some hits recently, particularly this week after Trump signed a bill signed legislation supporting protesters in Hong Kong. China’s foreign ministry claimed the U.S. has “sinister intentions” after Trump signed the bill into law. Investors fear this could strain trade negotiations between the two countries ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for a fresh round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Meanwhile, there’s a focus on the retail sector due to Black Friday sales. Analytics firm ShopperTrak said Black Friday will be the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. tocks in Asia were lower on Friday as investors continued to watch for developments on U.S.-China trade following a recent escalation in tensions over Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses among major markets regionally as it fell 2.03% to close at 26,346.49. Mainland Chinese stocks slipped on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.61% to around 2,871.98 and the Shenzhen composite declining 0.297% to about 1,593.10. The Shenzhen component also shed 0.42% to 9,582.16. Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.49% to close at 23,293.91 while the Topix index shed 0.51% to end its trading day at 1,699.36. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.45% to close at 2,087.96. Oil prices dipped on Friday in muted activity because of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday while OPEC watchers expect an extension to a pact to throttle oil output but no deeper cuts to be agreed by the producer group and its allies next week. Brent crude futures were down 29 cents at $63.58 a barrel by 1043 GMT, heading for their biggest monthly gain since April with a rise of about 5.6%. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were flat at $58.11, tracing back earlier losses and on course for a fourth consecutive weekly increase. On a monthly basis, WTI is poised for a jump of about 7.3%, its highest since June. Gold was little changed on Friday, but still on track to post its biggest monthly decline in three years, as investors sought clarity on the U.S.-China trade developments after United States backed anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,455.70 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures inched 0.1% higher to $1,462.20.