Monday, Oct 22, 2018
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Stock Market

Wall St set for flat open as trade worries offset tech glow


U.S. stock indexes were on track for a flat open Tuesday, as a surge in technology stocks that had pushed Nasdaq to a record close was offset by trade concerns.

A strong gain in technology stocks Monday, led by Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, boosted investment sentiment, which had already got a lift from the recent strong jobs data.

However, U.S. equity futures gave little indication if the gains would hold. U.S. President Donald Trump may seek separate talks with Canada and Mexico in a bid to get individual trade deals with the two countries, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday.

“The market is a little bit on edge when it comes to trade talks,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

A relentless rally in stocks last year sent the main U.S. indexes to record highs almost every other week. The rally came to a halt in late January on issues ranging from rising interest rates, trade concerns to geopolitical issues.

However, strength in the U.S. economy, as shown by the latest jobs report, helped investors shift their focus back to fundamentals.

“The carry-over from Friday, with the strong employment report, is a fact that a lot of people have been light on their equity holdings and they're using this report as a reason to get back.”

At 8:55 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 1 points, or 0 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.15 percent.

Mexico is set to impose a 20 percent tariff on U.S. pork imports, sources told Reuters, in response to Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum levied last week.

Later this week Canada plays host to the G7 summit with six of the seven members outraged at the United States over a slew of recent moves by Trump.

Twitter gained four percent in premarket trading on the social network's inclusion in the benchmark S&P 500 index. Netflix, which is set to join the S&P 100, rose marginally.

Accessories and apparel retailer Francesca's Holdings fell 13 percent after first-quarter revenue came in below analysts’ estimates.

Starbucks dropped one percent after Executive Chairman Howard Schultz, who built the coffee chain into a global powerhouse, decided to step away.

Mylan rose 4.4 percent after U.S. health regulators approved its biosimilar to Amgen Inc's blockbuster drug, Neulasta.

In economic data, ISM's non-manufacturing PMI for May is due at 10:00 am ET. It is expected to have increased to 57.5 from a prior reading of 56.8. 

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