Categories U.S. Markets News

Market: Stocks to open in red as chipmakers disappoint

US futures are pointing to a lower open today after ending mixed on Wednesday. Investors remained cautious as declines in chipmakers overshadowed the effect of higher oil prices. This comes on heels of a weak outlook from Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), citing softer smartphone demand.

The S&P futures tumbled 0.26% to 2,702.75, Dow futures slid 0.19% to 24,686, and Nasdaq fell 0.31% to 6,822.50. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed mostly higher on Thursday and European stocks are trading higher.

On the European economic front, data from Statistics Poland showed that Poland’s industrial production rose 1.8% on year in March after increasing 3% in February. The Bank of Italy data revealed that Italy’s current account surplus fell to EUR 839 million from EUR 1.48 billion last year. The Central Bureau of Statistics data showed that Dutch unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in March from 4.1% in February. The Office for National Statistics data revealed that retail sales in the UK fell 1.2% on month in March after rising 0.8% in February.

On the Asian economic front, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed that Hong Kong’s unemployment rate came in at 2.9% in the March-end quarter, the rate remained the same as in the February-end quarter. Bank of Korea data revealed that South Korea’s producer price inflation accelerated to 1.4% in March from 1.3% in February.

Statistics New Zealand data showed that consumer prices in New Zealand moved up 0.5% in the March quarter after rising 0.1% last quarter. Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed that unemployment rate in Australia came in at 5.5% in March, unchanged from the February reading. National Australia Bank data showed that Australia’s business confidence index remained unchanged at +7 in the first quarter, while business conditions index rose 2 points to +17.

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

On April 18, US ended mixed, with Dow down 0.16% to 24,748.07. Nasdaq gained 0.19% to 7,295.24, and the S&P 500 rose 0.083% to 2,708.64. Traders reacted mixed to the quarterly earnings news from big-name companies like United Continental (UAL), CSX Corp. (CSX), and IBM Corp. (IBM). The Beige Book’s economic conditions in the 12 Fed districts showed that economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace in March and early April.

Meanwhile, key economic events scheduled for today include Labor Department’s jobless claims, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s business outlook survey, Fed balance sheet, and Fed money supply. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Governor Randal Quarles, and Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester will be giving speeches today.

On the earnings front, key companies reporting earnings today include Procter & Gamble (PG), Wabco Holding (WBC), Philip Morris International (PM), Skechers USA (SKX), Quest Diagnostics (DGX), E*Trade Financial (ETFC), Snap-On (SNA), Nucor Corp. (NUE), Werner Enterprises (WERN), Genuine Parts (GPC), W.W. Grainger (GWW), Cherokee (CHKE), Alliance Data Systems (ADS), The Bank of New York Mellon (BK), The Blackstone Group (BX), Danaher (DHR), BB&T Corp. (BBT), and KeyCorp (KEY).

Apple Inc. (AAPL) slid 1.72% in the premarket after brokerage firm Mizuho Securities stated weak iPhone 8 models demand could dent Apple’s third-quarter outlook.

On the corporate front, (AMZN) stock rose 2.01% in the premarket after CEO Jeff Bezos stated Amazon Prime subscription program has topped 100 million members globally. Procter & Gamble (PG) stock declined 2.75% in premarket after agreeing to buy the consumer-health business from Merck (MRK) in a $4.2 billion deal.

Sprint Corp. (S) moved up 0.83% in premarket after brokerage firm Macquarie upgraded the shares to “neutral” from “underperform”. Apple Inc. (AAPL) slid 1.72% in the premarket after brokerage firm Mizuho Securities stated weak iPhone 8 models demand could dent Apple’s third-quarter outlook. Taiwan Semiconductor fell 5.34% in premarket trading after it lowered outlook on softer smartphone demand and cut the outlook for global semiconductor industry growth this year.

Crude oil futures are up 1.45% to $69.46. Gold is trading down 0.18% to $1,351.10, while silver is up 0.099% to $17.265. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading up 0.15% at 107.369 yen. Against the euro, the dollar is up 0.01% to $1.2379. Against the pound, the dollar is up 0.27% to $1.424.

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