Drop By Facebook Likely To Weigh On The Nasdaq

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a mixed opening on Thursday, as the Dow futures are up by 58 points but the Nasdaq futures are down by 53 points.

A notable decline by Facebook (FB) is likely to weigh on the Nasdaq after the social media giant reported better than expected second quarter earnings but weaker than expected revenues.

Stocks showed a strong move to the upside during trading on Wednesday, as traders reacted positively to a report about President Donald Trump securing concessions from Europe.

The major averages climbed to new highs for the session going into the close of trading. The Dow rose 172.16 points or 0.7 percent to 25,414.10, the Nasdaq jumped 91.47 points or 1.2 percent to 7,932.24 and the S&P 500 advanced 25.67 points or 0.9 percent to 2,846.07.

The strength on Wall Street came after a report from the Wall Street Journal said the European Union delegation meeting with Trump agreed to consider changes in its trade policies in an effort to ease relations with the U.S.

Citing a European official, the journal said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his top trade official Cecilia Malmström agreed to work with the U.S. administration to lower industrial tariffs on both sides, increase LNG exports and soy beans to Europe, and align regulatory standards to allow for medical devices to have better market access in Europe.

The report offset earlier negative sentiment generated by disappointing guidance from General Motors (GM) and Boeing (BA).

GM reported better than expected second quarter results but lowered its full-year earnings forecast due to rising steel and aluminum costs as a result of the tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Aerospace giant Boeing also reported second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates but warned of lower than expected margins for its defense business in 2018.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing a bigger than expected pullback in new home sales in the month of June.

The report said new home sales plunged by 5.3 percent to an annual rate of 631,000 in June after jumping by 3.9 percent to a rate of 666,000 in May. Economists had expected new home sales to fall by 2.8 percent.

Commodity, Currency Markets

Crude oil futures are slipping $0.12 to $69.18 a barrel after climbing $0.78 to $69.30 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,229.40, down $2.40 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,231.80. On Wednesday, gold rose $6.30.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.86 yen compared to the 110.98 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1713 compared to yesterday’s $1.1729.


Asian stocks finished mostly lower on Thursday despite U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker agreeing to work towards eliminating trade barriers on industrial goods.

The U.S. and the EU have agreed to work for zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto goods. They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater U.S. soybean exports to the EU.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 21.42 points or 0.7 percent to 2,882.23, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.5 percent to close at 28,781.14.

Japanese shares ended a choppy session slightly lower as the yen gained ground on speculation the Bank of Japan could scale back its stimulus program next week.

The Nikkei 225 Index dipped 27.38 points or 0.1 percent to 22,586.87, while the broader Topix Index closed up 0.7 percent at a five-week high of 1,765.78 on easing trade worries and on optimism that companies’ earnings growth will improve further.

Advantest soared 6.3 percent and Shin-etsu Chemical advanced 1.6 percent on solid earnings. Market heavyweight Fast Retailing dropped 1.8 percent to extend recent losses and Softbank shares declined 3.3 percent. Robot maker Fanuc shed 3.7 percent on concerns about a slowdown in its factory automation business.

Australian shares closed marginally lower in light trade as financials retreated, offsetting gains in resource stocks. Macquarie Group tumbled 2.6 percent as the investment bank announced a new chief executive. The big four banks closed flat to slightly lower.

Mining heavyweight Rio Tinto dropped 1.3 percent while smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group fell as much as 3.7 percent.

Oil & gas producer Santos rallied 2.3 percent and Beach Energy advanced 1.7 percent as oil prices extended gains into a third day. Gold miner Newcrest jumped 4.6 percent after it reported 15 percent growth in fourth-quarter gold output.

Broadcaster Nine Entertainment plunged more than 10 percent while publisher Fairfax Media soared 8.4 percent after the companies said they would combine into a $4 billion media giant.


European stocks have risen on Thursday, with automakers leading the surge after U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work toward zero tariffs, easing immediate concerns about global trade.

Investors kept an eye on the ECB’s monetary policy meeting later today, although no immediate changes to policy are expected.

The German DAX Index has jumped by 1.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index has risen by 0.4 percent, although the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent.

BMW, Volkswagen, Renault and Peugeot climbed 2-4 percent after the U.S. and the EU agreed to hold off on further tariffs, including potential U.S. tariffs on cars and auto parts.

Daimler also gained over 2 percent despite reporting a fall in its second-quarter net profit.

Nokia Corp slumped nearly 8 percent after it posted a loss in the Q2 that narrowed from last year.

Nestle rallied 2.6 percent on reporting a rise in first-half profit and confirming its FY18 outlook.

French eye-care firm Essilor advanced 2.5 percent. The company confirmed its FY18 view and said it is making progress in the completion of its merger with Italian peer Luxottica.

Airplane manufacturer Airbus soared 5 percent after its Q2 core profit doubled.

Shares of Cobham slumped 10 percent in London after the military and civil systems provider issued progress update regarding the US KC-46 Tanker Program.

GlaxoSmithKline lost 3 percent. The company is acquiring a $300 million stake in genetic-testing company 23andMe Inc.

British American Tobacco rallied 5.3 percent after its first-half revenue jumped 57 percent despite slowing growth in Japan for tobacco-heated products.

Specialty chemicals maker Johnson Matthey dropped over 1 percent after delivering fist-quarter sales in line with its expectations.

Smith & Nephew soared 4 percent after confirming its full-year guidance

In economic releases, Germany’s consumer confidence is set to weaken slightly in August, survey data from market research group GfK showed.

The forward-looking consumer sentiment index fell to 10.6 from 10.7 in July. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.7.

U.S. Economic Reports

First-time claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. showed a modest increase in the week ended July 21st, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims rose to 217,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 208,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 215,000 from the 207,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed a notable increase in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of June.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders jumped by 1.0 percent in June after falling by a revised 0.3 percent in May. Economists had expected durable goods orders to spike by 3.0 percent.

At 1 pm ET, The Treasury Department is scheduled to announce the results of its auction of $30 billion worth of seven-year notes.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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