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Top 5 Things To Know In The Market On Wednesday

EconomyJun 20, 2018 11:08
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© Reuters. Top 5 things to know today in financial markets - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, June 20:

1. Wall Street Futures Point To Higher Open

U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open, as global stocks recovered amid a lull in an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China.

At 5:50AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 115 points, or around 0.5%, putting the index on track to break a six-day losing streak.

The S&P 500 futures ticked up 8 points, or 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 20 points, or roughly 0.3%.

U.S. stocks stumbled on Tuesday, as intensifying worries over a brewing trade war between the U.S. and China rattled markets.

Investors will again remain attuned to any news on the trade front out of the White House as the relatively slow week of scheduled economic and corporate news continues.

The economics calendar will bring investors the May report on existing home sales as the highlight, with economists forecasting sales rose 1.5% to an annualized pace of 5.52 million homes.

The earnings calendar will be pretty empty with Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) the only notable company reporting results.

Elsewhere, European markets were higher for the first time in four sessions, led by gains for markets in Germany, where the DAX popped 0.5%.

Earlier, Asia stocks rose firmly across the board, as the prospect of central bank support from the People's Bank of China helped ease worries over the deepening trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.

2. General Electric Booted From The Dow, Walgreens To Replace

General Electric lost its spot in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after over a century in the blue-chip stock index, capping a miserable year for the once-powerful conglomerate, S&P Dow Jones Indices said after markets closed on Tuesday.

It was one of the original components of the index of 30 stocks in 1896. It has been a continuous member since 1907, or 111 years. In the past year, its stock has been battered as the company overhauls its business.

GE will be replaced on the Dow by drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance prior to the start of trading on June 26.

David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement adding Walgreens to the Dow will make the index "more representative of the consumer and health-care sectors of the U.S. economy."

Following this announcement, shares of Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) were up 3.4% in pre-market hours trading while GE (NYSE:GE) shares were down 2.1%.

3. Dollar Holds At 11-Month Highs, As Euro, Pound Slide

Away from equities, the U.S. dollar held onto its recent gains to trade at a near 11-month high against a currency basket, as risk aversion sparked by concerns over a worsening trade feud between Washington and Beijing ebbed.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was a shade higher at 94.80, holding below Friday’s eleven-month high of 95.13.

Meanwhile, the euro was a touch lower a day after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that monetary policy will remain persistent, prudent and patient in the wake of the bank's dovish guidance on interest rates last week.

The British pound struggled near a seven-month low ahead of a key Brexit vote in parliament scheduled for later today.

4. Oil Markets Await Fresh Weekly U.S. Inventory Data

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended June 15 at 10:30AM ET, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of 2.1 million barrels.

The weekly data will also offer fresh indications on how fast domestic output levels continue to rise. U.S. crude production - driven by shale extraction - is currently at an all-time high of 10.9 million barrels per day (bpd).

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 3.0 million barrels last week.

Oil prices were on the front foot ahead of the data, with U.S. WTI crude futures rising 48 cents, or around 0.7% to $65.38 per barrel, while London-traded Brent crude futures were at $75.68 per barrel, up 59 cents, or about 0.8%.

Looming larger over markets, however, is a June 22 meeting in Vienna of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with some other producers, including Russia, to discuss supply.

5. Powell, Draghi, Kuroda Panel Highlights Last Day Of ECB Forum

The fifth annual ECB Forum on Central Banking wraps up in Sintra, Portugal today.

The highlight of the final day of the three-day gathering will be the policy panel scheduled for 9:30AM ET (13:30GMT) with the participation of ECB President Mario Draghi, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is also scheduled to appear on the panel, which will be moderated by Stephanie Flanders, head of Bloomberg Economics.

The topic is price and wage-setting in advanced economies.

Top 5 Things To Know In The Market On Wednesday

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