Stock-index futures headed higher Wednesday morning, setting Wall Street up for gains after encouraging headlines regarding U.S.-China tariff negotiations.
What are major indexes doing?
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMM9, +0.47% rose 135 points, or 0.5%, to 26,288, while S&P 500 futures ESM9, +0.62% gained 16.15 points, or 0.6%, to 2,883.50, while Nasdaq-100 futures NQM9, +0.65% added 48 points, or 0.6%, to 7,567.25. DJIA, +0.17%
On Tuesday, the Dow DJIA, +0.17% fell 79.29 points, or 0.3%, to 26,179.13. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.35% rose 0.05 point to 2,867.24, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.54% rose 19.78 points, roughly 0.3%, to 7,832.
Tuesday’s session left the S&P 500 just 2.2% below its all-time close of 2,930.75 hit on Sept. 20.
What’s driving the market?
U.S. stocks were set to follow the lead of global equities, which rallied on a report over progress with trade talks between the U.S. and China. “Ninety percent of the deal is done, but the last 10% is the hardest part, it’s the trickiest part and it will require trade-offs on both sides,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, adding that talks are in the “endgame stage,” according to the Financial Times.
High-level discussions that began in Beijing last week are set to resume Wednesday in Washington, as China’s Vice Premier Liu He prepares to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The parties hope to set the stage for a summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, where a final trade agreement could be signed as early as this month, though the timing of deal remains uncertain.
Meanwhile, the Caixin China services purchasing managers index, which gauges the country’s private sector, rose to a 14-month high in March. Upbeat data from China at the start of the week helped to drive strong gains for U.S. stocks Monday, amid relief that a shaky global growth outlook was stabilizing.
Federal Reserve policy was also in focus after a report in The Wall Street Journaldescribed the president’s growing frustration with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, whom he has repeatedly criticized to “Republican senators, supporters and staffers” for Powell’s decision to raise interest rates four times in 2018. The president reportedly believes that the economy would be stronger and the stock market more buoyant absent these moves.
The president blames Mnuchin for recommending Powell for the job, while reportedly telling Powell in a recent phone conversation that “I guess I’m stuck with you.”
Investors will watch for indications of future fed policy during a panel discussion featuring Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin, and Kansas City Fed President Esther George at the American Banker Association Washington conference beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Which stocks are in focus?
Pilots at the controls of the 737 MAX aircraft that crashed last month in Ethiopia initially followed emergency procedures laid out by plane maker Boeing Co.BA, -0.40% but still failed to recover control, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people briefed on the preliminary findings of the crash probe.
Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Inc. APRN, +10.43% may be in focus after the meal-delivery company late Tuesday said Chief Executive Bradley J. Dickerson had resigned. The company appointed former Etsy executive Linda Kozlowski to replace him. Shares are up 16.7% in premarket trade.
Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. TSN, -0.06% fell 0.3% in premarket action, after a subsidiary of the processed foods company, AdvancePierre Foods Inc. announced a recall of more than 20,000 pounds of ready-to-eat beef patties.
What’s on the economic calendar?
The U.S. private sector added 129,000 jobs in March, below consensus expectations of 165,000, according to FactSet. The report is watched for clues to official labor data due Friday.
Markit’s March services purchasing managers index is due at 9:45 a.m. Eastern, while the Institute for Supply Management will release its March nonmanufacturing index at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast the ISM reading to fall to 58.1% from 59.7% in February.
How are other markets trading?
Stock markets in Asia rallied on Wednesday, with Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.97%closing 1% higher, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +1.22% and the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.24% both adding 1.2% on the day.
In commodities markets, the price of crude oil CLK9, +0.02% rose as it looks to extend its three-day winning streak, while the price of gold GCM9, -0.16% also edged higher. The U.S. dollar DXY, -0.18% meanwhile, retreated 0.3% against its peers.
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