Friday November 10th


Futures point to weak open on Wall Street ahead of JC Penney earnings; tax news in focus

U.S. stocks futures pointed to a lower open Friday, as investors digested the latest news surrounding the U.S. economy. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 52 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 9.75 points and 20.75 points, respectively. In the previous trading session, all major U.S. indexes posted sharp declines with the Dow falling 101 points, on the back of concerns that a corporate tax cut could be delayed. A proposed plan by Senate Republicans would push chopping the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent until 2019. Republicans argue that the reduction will assist in motivating firms to keep their operations within the U.S., boost salaries and be able to employ more people. The move, however, is seen as contradicting with another bill which is currently working its way through the House. Elsewhere, President Donald Trump continues his trip across Asia Friday. On the last trading day of the week, the incumbent brought the topic of trade to the table in Vietnam. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, Trump stated that while the U.S. was ready to make bilateral deals with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, this would only be on the foundation of "mutual respect and mutual benefit," adding that the States could no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses. After a bumper week of corporate earnings, Friday will deliver a lighter load than usual. JC Penney is set to publish its latest earnings ahead of the bell. Meanwhile in data news, consumer sentiment data is set to be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. Overseas, European stocks dipped lower during early market trade, while markets in Asia finished mostly in the red. The Nikkei 225 tumbled 0.82 percent, or 187.29 points, to close at 22,681.42, extending losses made on Thursday when the index sharply fell in the second half of the day after gaining some 2 percent during morning trade. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi lost 0.3 percent to end at 2,542.95. Greater China markets hovered near the flat line. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.04 percent by 3:02 p.m. HK/SIN while mainland markets bucked the trend in the region to close slightly higher. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.16 percent at 3,433.35 and the Shenzhen Composite advanced 0.52 percent at 2,039.17. Crude oil markets were slightly higher on Friday, supported by continuing supply cuts and expectations that an output deal will be extended at the end of the month. Brent crude was at $64.22 a barrel at 1017 GMT, up 27 cents from the previous close and 43 cents off a more than two-year high of $64.65 reached this week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $57.26, up 9 cents and also not far from this week's peak of $57.92, its highest in more than two years. Gold eased on Friday on a firmer dollar but uncertainty over U.S. tax reforms helped prices stay close to a three-week high touched in the previous session. Bullion was on track for its first weekly gain in about a month. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,283.61 per ounce as of 0856 GMT, although it was headed for a gain of more than 1 percent for the week. On Thursday, it touched its highest since Oct. 20 at $1,288.34 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down 0.3 percent at $1,284.20.