Global stocks started off the week muted following reports of "constructive" trade talks between Washington and Beijing, paired with a rare rate cut from China; which boosted stocks overnight in Asia.
The People's Bank of China lowered one of its key interest rates for the first time since 2015, in a move which some analysts say could signal further easing in the slowing economy.
China's state-backed media outlet Xinhua, meanwhile, reported that American and Chinese negotiators held “constructive discussions” on a phone call aimed at addressing both countries’ core concerns about a phase-one deal, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry.
Denting sentiment in Asia, however, was further violence in Hong Kong, where police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters holed up in the city's Polytechnic University after another weekend of clashes with police over alleged meddling from officials in Beijing.
These developments come on the back of last week’s comments by Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who told reporters on Thursday that; phase-one trade pact negotiations were “coming down to the short strokes.”
Kudlow’s announcement saw the S&P 500 rise +0.72% on Friday, to its third consecutive record close; with a weekly performance of +0.92%.
Ahead, in today’s economic calendar, Monday includes; the NAHB Housing Market Index for November at 10am EST.
Earnings are expected today from; Manchester United (MANU).
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
Hong Kong: Lam Urges Besieged Protesters to Heed Police. (Bloomberg)
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam urged protesters holed up in a Kowloon university to heed police calls to surrender, as activists called for more rallies near the campus to support the trapped demonstrators.
Today's Economical Announcements.
10:00AM - ★☆☆ - NAHB Housing Market Index (Nov) (Previous: 71)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Splunk (SPLK): [UPGRADE] Morgan Stanley upgraded the company to “overweight” from “equal weight”, citing Splunk’s shift to a recurring sales model potentially reveals a “durable” annual recurring revenue of at least 25%.
HP (HPQ): [NEWS] HP’s board of directors rejected a proposal from Xerox (XRX) to acquire the company, because the offer is not in the best interest of shareholders and would undervalue HP.
Ford Motor (F): [NEWS] Is touting its all-electric Mustang Mach-E as a performance SUV that will redefine the automaker's lineup and expand the iconic pony car name to a new generation of car buyers.
Five Below (FIVE): [REVIEW] J.P. Morgan added the discount store company to his “focus list,” citing potential upside to Wall Street’s consensus estimate around Five Below’s same-store sales.
Workday (WDAY): [DOWNGRADE] Morgan Stanley downgraded Workday’s stock to “equal weight” from “overweight,” noting that slowing momentum in the human capital management segment and “a more difficult spending environment lead us to trim our near-term forecasts.” Shares fell nearly 2%.
TripAdvisor (TRIP): [UPGRADE] Cowen upgraded the stock to “market perform” from “outperform”, pointing to a potential recovery in TripAdvisor’s online search metrics moving forward after a “major SEO shortfall.”
Fitbit (FIT): [NEWS] Several Fitbit users told CNBC they were searching for an alternative to the company’s fitness trackers after Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL) announced its purchase of the company earlier this month.
Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN): [NEWS] Dunkin’ Brands banned the use of its “double cup” in New England in an effort to move away from foam to paper coffee cups. The company added its foam cups will be eliminated globally in 2020.
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