The stock market ended a three-session losing streak yesterday, but is on course to open today's session slightly lower. The S&P 500 futures are down 0.1%.
Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major oil-producing countries, including Russia, will kick off a two-day meeting in Vienna today to review their current production cut deal, which has decreased output by roughly 1.8 million barrels per day since January 2017. The deal helped boost oil prices to a three-and-a-half year high, and the expectation is that the countries will now decide to ramp up output. WTI crude futures are down 1.6% at $64.67/bbl.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the Bank of England voted 6-3 to leave interest rates and its asset purchase program unchanged, as expected.
Elsewhere, U.S. Treasuries are flat to slightly higher, with the yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note unchanged at 2.93%, and the U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.2% at 94.98, which marks a fresh 11-month high. The greenback is up 0.3% against the euro at 1.1542 and up 0.1% against the yen at 110.52.
On the data front, the weekly Initial Claims reading (Briefing.com consensus 220K) and the Philadelphia Fed Index for June (Briefing.com consensus 27.0) will be released at 8:30 AM ET, the FHFA Housing Price Index for April will be released at 9:00 AM ET, and the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for May (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%) will cross the wires at 10:00 AM ET.
Also of note, banks will be in focus today as the Fed is scheduled to release the first set of results from its annual stress test this afternoon.
In U.S. corporate news:
- Micron (MU 61.83, +2.88): +4.9% after beating earnings estimates and issuing better-than-expected guidance.
- Kroger (KR 28.49, +2.31): +8.8% after reporting upbeat earnings and raising the bottom end of its guidance for FY19.
- Darden Restaurants (DRI 101.31, +8.04): +8.6% after reporting above-consensus earnings.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a mostly lower note with markets in China and Hong Kong showing relative weakness. Japan's Nikkei +0.6%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.4%, China's Shanghai Composite -1.4%, India's Sensex -0.3%.
- In economic data:
- South Korea's May PPI +0.2% month-over-month (last 0.1%); +2.2% year-over-year (last 1.7%)
- New Zealand's Q1 GDP +0.5% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (last 0.6%); +2.7% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.9%). Q1 GDP Expenditure +0.3% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.1%; last 0.4%)
- Hong Kong's May CPI +2.1% year-over-year (last 1.9%)
- In news:
- IMF official Paul Cashin said Japan needs to increase its consumption tax to 15.0% and cut social security spending to curb unsustainable debt.
- Bank of Japan policymaker Yukitoshi Funo said the central bank needs to maintain its strong monetary easing to reach the 2.0% inflation target.
- China's state-run Global Times reported that the country could act against Dow-listed U.S. companies if trade tensions worsen.
- Major European indices trade on a lower note with Italy's MIB (-1.3%) showing relative weakness. France's CAC -0.4%, UK's FTSE -0.5%, Germany's DAX -0.7%.
- In economic data:
- UK's May Public Sector Net Borrowing GBP3.36 billion (expected GBP5.10 billion; last GBP5.27 billion)
- France's June Business Survey 110 (expected 108; last 109)
- Swiss May trade surplus CHF2.76 billion (expected CHF1.89 billion; last surplus of CHF2.25 billion)
- In news:
- Italian debt has faced renewed selling pressure after Alberto Bagnai was named head of the Senate Finance Committee while Claudio Borghi was named the head of the Budget Committee in the lower house. Mr. Bagnai and Mr. Borghi are both considered to be euroskeptics.
- Press reports indicate that European officials have drafted a proposal on migration, which will call for stronger external border protection and support for migrant reception and resettlement outside of the EU.
- The Bank of England voted 6-3 to leave its official cash rate and asset purchase program at their respective 0.50% and GBP435 billion, as expected.
- The Swiss National Bank left its SARON unchanged at -0.75%, as expected.
Headlines provided by Briefing.com