Trump Tariff Comments Send Stock Futures Sliding

The Dow and S&P could give up their weekly gains

by Josh Selway

Published on Jul 20, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are under pressure this morning, after President Donald Trump said in an interview with CNBC that he's ready to put tariffs on essentially all imported goods from China. Trump also accused China and the European Union (EU) of "manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower," and tweeted that tightening from the Fed "hurts all that we have done" on the economic front. But while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is ready to follow the Dow lower, Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are trading above fair value.

Outside of trade fears, the latest round of corporate earnings is highlighted by Microsoft's (MSFT) upbeat quarterly results, and former Dow stock General Electric (GE) is also in the earnings spotlight. Overall, the Dow and S&P will need to keep the losses in check if they want to close the week in positive territory.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 650,451 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.62, while the 21-day moving average held at 0.61.
  2. MSFT shares are set to open up 3.6% at record highs, after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and an upbeat current-quarter outlook, citing extended strength out of its cloud business. The upside move would be good news for recent options traders, who were betting bullishly ahead of the event.
  3. VF Corp (NYSE:VFC) is gaining after earnings, too, up 1.6% in electronic trading. The stock was already trading at all-time highs, gaining almost 58% in the past 12 months and recently bouncing from a bullish chart level.
  4. Taking a look at another earnings winner, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) is pacing for a fresh record high of its own, up 3.6% before the open. The surgical robotics specialists bested top- and bottom-line estimates, and it delivered 220 of its signature da Vinci systems during the period, compared to 166 in the second quarter last year.
  5. The Baker-Hughes rig count is the lone economic report slated for today. Baker Hughes (BHGE), Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF), General Electric (GE), Honeywell (HON), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Schlumberger (SLB), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), and SunTrust Banks (STI) will round out the week's earnings lineup. The quarterly reports will keep rolling in next week, with names like Facebook (FB), Boeing (BA), and Alphabet (GOOGL) set to unveil earnings.

stock market news july 20

Asian Stocks Gain

Most Asian benchmarks gained ground today, with China's Shanghai Composite closing up 2%, as the yuan bounced off an annual low.  Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.8%, and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.3%. On the flip side, Japan's Nikkei shed 0.3%, after data showed inflation edged up last month.

European stocks are lower at midday, after Trump's latest tariff threat. Auto stocks and financial shares are leading the path lower, with the German DAX down 0.7%, the French CAC 40 off 0.6%, and London's FTSE 100 flirting with a 0.2% loss.


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