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Market: US futures point to lower open on shutdown concerns

US futures are pointing to a lower open in the stock market today after ending on a negative note on Thursday. Wall Street remained concerns on the possibility of a government shutdown and persistent anemic global growth fears.

The S&P futures declined 0.36% to 2,476.75, Dow futures inched down 0.31% to 22,931 and Nasdaq fell 0.55% to 6,274. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed lower on Friday, and European stocks are inching lower.

On the European economic front, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed that Germany’s import price index rose 3.1% annually in November following a 4.8% increase in October. Export prices increased 1.7% year-on-year in November. The data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that British passenger car output fell 19.6% year-on-year to 129,030 units in November, as the Brexit uncertainty intensified prompting businesses to wait-and-watch.

On December 20, US ended lower, with Dow down 2% to 22,859.60, the Nasdaq dropped 1.6% to 6,528.41 and the S&P 500 inched down 1.6% to 2,467.42. Traders remained concerned about the continued weakness arising from several negative catalysts, including the higher risk of a partial government shutdown. The markets were also impacted by the renewed concerns of the US-China trade talks.

market snapshot

Traders were also concerned that the federal government could be heading toward a shutdown. President Donald Trump is unwilling to sign a short-term spending bill approved by the Senate due to a lack of funding for his controversial border wall. Also, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he will step down at the end of February, implying at conflicts with the president in his resignation letter.

The selloff continued from Wednesday after the Fed lifted the federal-funds rate for the fourth time this year by 25 basis points to 2.5%. Losses increased as the Fed chairman Jerome Powell explained the decision and accompanying forecasts.

Meanwhile, key economic data that will be released today include the final reading of the third quarter gross domestic product, the Census Bureau’s initial estimate of durable goods orders and capital spending, the Commerce Department’s report on personal income and spending for the month of November, and the University of Michigan’s final reading of its consumer sentiment index. The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index for December will be released today.

On the corporate front, Nike Inc. (NKE) stock advanced 8.25% in the premarket session after stronger-than-expected second-quarter results. Cintas Corp (CTAS) stock gained 5.07% in the premarket after upbeat second-quarter results and raised its outlook for the year. CalAmp (CAMP) stock fell 10.48% in the premarket after weak fourth-quarter guidance. Zynga (ZNGA) stock inched up 5.85% in the premarket after raised fourth-quarter guidance and purchase of Small Giant Games for $560 million in cash and stock.

Crude oil futures are down 1.61% to $45.14. Gold is trading down 0.43% to $1,262.40 and silver is down 0.77% to $14.76. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading down 0.05% at 111.228 yen. Against the euro, the dollar is down 0.33% to $1.1413. Against the pound, the dollar is down 0.08% to $1.2649.

On Monday, equity and bond markets will close early on the eve of Christmas and will be closed for the holiday on Tuesday.


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