Stock Futures Sink on Trade, Brexit Tensions

China officials accused the U.S. of "bullying behavior" in trade talks

by Patrick Martin

Published on May 17, 2019 at 9:15 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are struggling this morning, more than 200 points below fair value as trade tensions with China flare up once more. According to state-run news agency Xinhua, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng accused the U.S. of "bullying behavior," and expressed reluctance to resume trade talks. Chinese officials also called out President Donald Trump for his executive order targeting Huawei. Elsewhere, Brexit uncertainty is also weighing on global markets, after talks between Britain's Labour and Conservative parties failed to produce any progress toward an orderly exit agreement. 

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

Stock Futures Chart May 17

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.1 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 730,249 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.66, while the 21-day moving average moved up to 0.65.
  2. Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) stock is up 3.1% in electronic trading, after J.P. Morgan Securities raised its rating on the athleisure name to "overweight" from "neutral." The brokerage also upped its price target to $29 from $23, while waxing optimistic about the company's brand direction. UAA is set to rally above its 30-day moving average at the open.
  3. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is down 3.1% ahead of the bell, after it was reported that the company's autopilot system was engaged during a Model 3 crash back in March. In addition, CEO Elon Musk told employees he will be reviewing all expenses going forward as the company attempts to slow the pace it's burning through cash, according to Reuters. Tesla stock fell to a two-year low of $224.50 on May 13, and has shed 31% year-to-date.
  4. The shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) are up 1.5% in electronic trading, after the chipmaker reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts' forecasts. The company's guidance also beat estimates, prompting five price-target hikes this morning -- as well as an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at B. Riley. AMAT stock is on track for its fourth straight daily gain.
  5. A quiet day on the earnings and economic front, Friday will wind down with two more speeches from New York Fed President John Williams, as traders look over consumer sentiment data, as well as an earnings report from Deere (DE). 

stock market news may 17

Asian Stocks Sink on Tariff Drama; Europe Bogged Down by Brexit

Investors in Asia watched as Chinese stocks sold off again to end the week. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) acknowledged that U.S. tariffs were affecting the country’s economy, but labeled the effects as “controllable.” Still, the Shanghai Composite was clobbered for a 2.5% loss, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 1.2%. South Korea’s Kospi also closed lower, down 0.6%. However, the Nikkei grabbed a 0.9% win in Japan thanks to a huge session out of Sony. 

Over in Europe, the attention is back on Brexit drama, with investors considering the possibility of Boris Johnson replacing British Prime Minister Theresa May. Looking at individual stocks in focus, food delivery name Just Eat is down sharply after Amazon.com reportedly invested in rival Deliveroo, and another huge loser is Britain-based tour company Thomas Cook. As for the indexes, Germany’s DAX is having the worst day, down 1.1%, followed by a 0.7% drop in the CAC 40 in France, while London’s FTSE 100 is off 0.5%. 


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