Stocks were set to open higher Wednesday as favorable progress towards US-China trade relations lifted Dow futures more than 100 points higher in pre-market activity. In an effort to thwart a trade war between the world's two largest economies, China offered to boost imports of US goods while the US finalized a deal that would allow ZTE Corp to buy from US suppliers.
April's trade deficit resulted in a seven-month low of $46.2 billion on record exports. This beats the consensus estimate for a $49.0 billion deficit, and is the second consecutive month the deficit has narrowed.
Wednesday's other economic data was not as bullish as nonfarm productivity for Q1 was revised down to +0.4% from +0.7%, while unit labor costs rose slightly to 2.9% from 2.7%, initially.
Overseas markets were predominately higher with the exception of the Euro-Stoxx which came under pressure amid speculation that the European Central Bank was orchestrating an end to its bond-buying program. ECB chief economist Peter Praet confirmed that the June 14 meeting will be "live" as members debate when to end its quantitative easing. Followed by a succession of hawkish remarks from other members of the ECB, the euro raced up to a two-week high while equities relinquished early gains.
In related markets, the dollar is lower against most of the major currencies except the Japanese yen; gold is unchanged, oil futures are down; Treasury yields are more than 3 basis points higher.
-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.50%
-S&P 500 futures up 0.17%
-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.07%
Nikkei up 0.38%
Hang Seng up 0.53%
Shanghai Composite up 0.05%
FTSE-100 up 0.38%
DAX-30 up 0.40%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(+) Large cap tech: Higher
(+) Chip stocks: Higher
(+) Software stocks: Higher
(+) Hardware stocks: Higher
(+) Internet stocks: Higher
(+) Oil stocks: Higher
(+) Biotech stocks: Higher
(+) Drug stocks: Higher
(+) Financial stocks: Higher
(+/-) Retail stocks: Mixed
(+) Industrial stocks: Higher
(+/-) Airlines: Mixed
(+/-) Autos: Mixed
(+) AXON (+90.29%) Acquired worldwide rights to commercialize Parkinson's disease treatment
(+) VBLT (+27.91%) Presented positive data on MOSPD2 program in oncology and inflammation
(+) NCS (+6.70%) Reported better-than-expected Q2 results
(-) AMBA (-10.51%) Q1 results down from year ago, Q2 sales guidance set below street expectations
(-) IMGN (-4.88%) Announced 12 million share offering
(-) MARK (-2.91%) Filed $50 million mixed shelf registration
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