Trade Conflict Escalates

Pre-market futures are once again in the red this morning, following Asian markets tumbling overnight. The trade issue on either side of the Pacific Ocean — especially with regard to the tech sector — continues to wallow in something close to turmoil at this hour, as the trade war between the U.S. and China shows no signs of ending soon.

A spokesperson from China’s Commerce Ministry said that trade talks between the top two economies in the world may resume, but only after the U.S. addresses its “wrong actions.” Contrast this with the happy talk we were hearing just a few short weeks ago, when a trade agreement was “close.” Now it doesn’t even look like the G-20 summit — the next time Presidents Trump and Xi are scheduled to see each other — will produce the progress market participants had been looking for.

Initial Jobless Claims were once again solid, however: 211K new claims last week dropped by 1000 by the previous week’s unrevised total. Continuing Claims ticked up only slightly, and remain near levels from a half-century ago. The narrative of an historically robust U.S. labor market also sees no end in sight. Our next non-farm payroll report is not due until two weeks from tomorrow.

Later today, we’ll get New Home Sales data for April, along with a fresh read on the Purchasing Managers Index for May.

A fresh earnings report from Best Buy BBY brought more good news, as the big-box retailer outperformed earnings estimates massively: $1.02 per share versus expectations of 88 cents, and 82 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenues were in-line with expectations at $9.14 billion, and higher than the $9.11 billion a year ago. Shares are trading up another 1.3% in the early market, and are up more than 30% year to date. 

MedTech major Medtronic MDT also outperformed expectations notably: $1.54 versus $1.46 per share on its bottom line, while sales reached $8.15 billion in the quarter, slightly ahead of estimates and the year-ago total. Shares are trading up 2.7% in pre-market trading.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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