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Market: Stocks to open in green ahead of inflation data

US stocks are set to open higher after ending in green territory on Wednesday, as investors await inflation data and treasury budget. The inflation data could help decide the path of future policies from the Federal Reserve. Traders are largely shrugging off fresh geopolitical concerns after President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran nuclear deal.

The S&P futures advanced 0.15% to 2,700, while Dow futures rose 0.05% to 24,514, and Nasdaq gained 0.07% to 6,901 at 8:25 am ET. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed broadly higher on Thursday, and European stocks are trading positive.

On the European economic front, data from Statistics Portugal showed that Portugal’s foreign trade deficit widened to EUR 1.21 billion in March from EUR 0.9 billion last year. Central Statistics Office data revealed that Ireland’s consumer prices slid 0.4% on year in April after rising 0.2% in March. Hellenic Statistical Authority report showed that Greece’s consumer prices remained unchanged in April after declining 0.2% in March. Istat data revealed that Italy’s industrial production rose 1.2% on month in March after falling 0.5% in February.

Czech Statistical Office report revealed that Czech consumer price inflation accelerated to 1.9% in April from 1.7% in March. Office for National Statistics data showed that construction output in the UK dropped 2.3% on month in March after falling 1% in February. Another Office for National Statistics report revealed that UK industrial production rose 0.1% on month in March, the same pace of growth as seen in February, and visible trade deficit in the UK widened to GBP 12.28 billion in March from GBP 10.4 billion in February.

At the monetary policy meeting, Bank of England decided to keep its key interest rate at 0.50% and quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 435 billion. The bank downgraded the near-term economic growth outlook for the second quarter of 2018 to 1.4% from 1.8% estimated in February. The bank predicts inflation to fall back quicker than in February, achieving the 2% target in two years.

On the Asian economic front, data from the Cabinet Office showed that a measure of peoples’ assessment of Japan’s economy rose to 49 in April from 48.9 in March. Department of Statistics report revealed that Malaysia’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.3% in March from February, and Malaysia’s industrial production grew 3.1% on year in March after rising 3% in February. National Bureau of Statistics data showed that consumer prices in China grew 1.8% on year in April after rising 2.1% in March.

Bank of Japan data revealed that overall bank lending in Japan increased 2.1% on year in April to 525.075 trillion yen after rising 2% in March. Philippine Statistics Authority report showed that Philippine economic growth improved to 6.8% in the first quarter from 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Philippine central bank hiked its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 3.25%.

U.S. stock market snapshot
U.S. stock market snapshot

On May 9, US ended higher, with Dow up 0.75% to 24,542.54. Nasdaq advanced 1% to 7,339.91, and the S&P 500 gained 0.97% to 2,697.79. Traders turned positive due to a sharp rise in crude oil prices after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Iran’s nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, key economic events scheduled for today include Labor Department’s consumer price index, weekly unemployment claims, Energy Information Administration’s natural gas report, Treasury Budget, Federal balance sheet, and Fed money supply.

Key companies reporting earnings today include Genesis Healthcare (GEN), Identive Group (INVE), Flowserve (FLS), Meredith (MDP), Owens & Minor (OMI), Triumph Group (TGI), RXi Pharmaceuticals Group (RXII), News Corp (NWS), Nvidia (NVDA), Kulicke & Soffa Industries (KLIC), Symantec (SYMC), Yelp (YELP), and Dropbox (DBX).

ARMO Biosciences (ARMO) stock jumped 67.67% in premarket trading after Eli Lilly (LLY) agreed to buy ARMO Biosciences for about $1.6 billion in an all-cash deal.

On the corporate front, Infinera (INFN) stock slid 6.46% in the premarket after the company warned of pricing pressure from some big competitors. First Solar (FSLR) stock rose 2.35% before the opening bell as brokerage firm JP Morgan upgraded the shares to “overweight” from “neutral” and turned bullish for the first time in two years.

ARMO Biosciences (ARMO) stock jumped 67.67% in premarket trading after Eli Lilly (LLY) agreed to buy ARMO Biosciences for about $1.6 billion in an all-cash deal. Roku (ROKU) stock grew 6.15% in premarket after guiding second-quarter above street view and reported upbeat first-quarter results.

Crude oil futures are up 0.53% to $71.52. Gold is trading up 0.37% to $1,317.90, and silver is up 0.79% to $16.67. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading down 0.12% at 109.585 yen. Against the euro, the dollar up 0.21% to $1.1877. Against the pound, the dollar is down 0.01% to $1.3548.

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