Safe assets were in high demand this morning, with investors worldwide having jumped ship, amid an ever-intensifying trade standoff between America and China as the prospect of a protracted dispute took a tighter grip on sentiment.

A sense of overnight unease had set the tone in New York, ahead of the opening bell, after Chinese flagship newspapers hit the news-stands, assailing US moves to have curbed major Chinese companies.

This follows recent developments which had seen global companies join the US in blacklisting China’s Huawei Technologies, including Japan’s Panasonic and Toshiba, as well as Britain’s ARM Holdings; diminishing near-term hopes of a breakthrough in talks between the world’s two biggest economies.

Aside from trade, investors had also priced in the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve, which had reinforced that the central bank will leave interest rates unchanged for now. The meeting had taken place before the recent flare up in trade tensions.

Yesterday’s minutes release did little to alter the path of the US market during the afternoon session, where the S&P 500 finished -0.31% lower, just fractionally more negative than where it had been before the central bank’s minutes were released.

The Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average both recorded equal declines of -0.45% into the closing bell.

Ahead, in today’s economic calendar, Thursday includes; Weekly Jobless Claims data at 8:30am EST, following by Manufacturing and Services PMI figures for May at 9:45am EST, with New Home Sales for April scheduled for release a little later at 10:00am EST.

In today’s earnings, reports are expected from; Best Buy (BBY), BJ’s Wholesale Club (BJ), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), HP Inc. (HPQ), Hormel Foods (HRL), Autodesk (ADSK), Medtronic (MDT), Splunk (SPLK) and Deckers Outdoor (DECK).

China & Trade: China says trade talks can’t continue unless US addresses its ‘wrong actions’. (CNBC)
The latest US actions on trade are preventing negotiations with Beijing from proceeding, China’s Commerce Ministry said Thursday.

Today’s Economical Announcements.

08:30AM – ★☆☆ – Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 212,000)
09:45AM – ★★☆ – Manufacturing PMI (May) (Previous: 52.6)
09:45AM – ★★☆ – Services PMI (May) (Previous: 53.0)
10:00AM – ★★★ – New Home Sales (Apr) (Previous: 692,000)

Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.

L Brands (LB): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 14 cents per share, surprising analysts who had expected a breakeven quarter. The Victoria’s Secret parent also raised its outlook for the full year, on the heels of record results for its Bath & Body Works unit.

NetApp (NTAP): [EARNINGS] Reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of $1.22 per share, missing consensus estimates by 4 cents a share, with the data storage company’s revenue also falling short of Wall Street forecasts. NetApp also gave a weaker-than-expected forecast. The company raised its quarterly dividend, however, to 48 cents per share from 40 cents a share.

Avon Products (AVP): [BUYOUT] Agreed to be bought by Brazilian cosmetics maker Natura Cosmeticos in a stock swap deal that values Avon at $2 billion. Avon had confirmed Wednesday that the two sides were in acquisition talks.

Tyson Foods (TSN): [NEWS] Is in talks to invest billions in Kazakhstan to avoid Chinese tariffs, according to the Financial Times. The talks are set to center around setting up a beef-processing plant, with an initial investment of $200 million.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “underperform” from “market perform” at BMO Capital, which said the impact of African Swine Fever on Chipotle’s operations is underappreciated.

Hormel (HRL): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 46 cents per share, beating estimates by a penny a share. Revenue was short of forecasts, however, and the company also cut its full-year outlook as African Swine Fever impacts its beef and pork markets.

Best Buy (BBY): [EARNINGS] Earnings came in 16 cents a share above estimates at an adjusted $1.02 per share, with revenue beating forecast as well. Comparable-store sales were up 1.1%, beating the 0.9% consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Medtronic (MDT): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 8 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.54 per share, with revenue also beating Wall Street forecasts. Medtronic also issued a full-year earnings outlook range that is largely above current consensus.

T-Mobile US (TMUS), Sprint (S): [NEWS] Sources say that the Justice Department antitrust division head Makan Delrahim has not made a decision on whether to allow the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint deal, despite reports that staff is recommending the deal be blocked.

Spotify (SPOT): [NEWS] Spotify has notified an unspecified number of users that it has reset their passwords, according to a Tech Crunch report. The music streaming service said the reset was due to “detected suspicious activity” but did not elaborate.

Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Acting Federal Aviation Administration Chief Dan Elwell said there is no specific timetable for approving the return of Boeing’s grounded 737 Max jet to service.

Harley-Davidson (HOG): [NEWS] Harley executive Larry Hund told The Wall Street Journal that expanding its loan operation will be a key part of the company’s strategy to attract new and younger motorcycle buyers, as it plans to introduce 100 new models through 2027.


Bicycle Therapeutics Limited (BCYC) (Price: 14) (Est. Vol: $60.7M)
IDEAYA Biosciences (IDYA) (Price: 10) (Est. Vol: $50.0M)
Rattler Midstream Partners (RTLR) (Price: 17.50) (Est. Vol: $665.0M)