Futures Fall Despite Solid EPS, Retail Sales Miss, Brexit Deal Remains Elusive

The earnings-driven rebound stalls as concerns over the Phase I trade deal begin to take center stage.
Thomas Hughes
nasdaq
nasdaq

Futures Fall As Worries Creep  Back Into Focus

The U.S. equity market is indicated lower in early Wednesday trading despite signs 3rd quarter earnings are better than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are both indicated lower by 0.20% while the NASDAQ Composite is down about -0.30%. The move is driven by growing concern China will not follow through on its pledge to buy more U.S. agricultural products. If this is the case it is likely additional tariffs will be enforced later this year. China has pledged as part of the Phase I trade deal to buy up to $50 billion in U.S. products.

In earnings news, financial stocks Bank of America and Bank Of New York Mellon both reported better than expected EPS. Both companies reported strength in consumer segments that helped drive share prices higher. Shares of BAC are up more than 2.5% while BNY-Mellon is up about 1.5%. In economic news, Retail Sales were weaker than expected. September retail sales fell -0.3% versus an expected gain of 0.3%. The mitigating factor is an upward revision to the past month of 0.2%. Later in the session traders will have an eye out for the NAHB Index and the FOMC’s Beige Book.

Europe Mixed, Brexit Deal Is Still Elusive

European markets are flat and mixed at midday as traders fret over trade and the Brexit. On the trade front, China’s demands the U.S. remove the threat of more tariffs before signing the Phase I deal has thrown a wrench into the works. At this stage it is becoming less and less likely Phase I will come to fruition. In Brexit news, negotiations stalled on Wednesday despite a narrowing of differences. The Irish PM confirms the back-stop is yet to be resolved but there is hope. The two sides will begin a two-day summit tomorrow that will, hopefully, result in a deal.

The German DAX is in the lead at midday with a gain of 0.22% while the FTSE and CAC are both edging lower. In stock news, shares of UK tech giant Micro Focus is up 4.3% on its results as is seafood producer Mowi. At the other end of the rankings, IMCD and DBA Aviation are both down more than -4.0%.

Asia Mostly Higher On Brexit Hopes

Asian markets are mostly higher at the end of Wednesday’s session. The Nikkie and ASX are both up more than 1.0% while the Hang Seng and Kospi are up closer to 0.70%. The moves are driven by hope for a Brexit deal, however elusive it may seem right now. In Hong Kong, leader Carrie Lam is under intensifying pressure as she rejects HK’s bid for autonomy. The Shanghai composite is the only index to move lower, it posted a loss of -0.41%.

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