US stock futures traded higher this morning, despite Beijing's pledge to take “countermeasures” against President Donald Trump’s recently postponed new set of tariffs; showing limiting signs of willingness to negotiate in any subsequent trade concessions.

Markets across both Hong Kong and Shanghai traded higher overnight, but turned lower, after China said the next round of tariffs threatened by the White House violates accords already reached by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Traders will be on alert for an upcoming response from Trump.

Separately in Asia, Hong Kong’s government had announced plans to implement stimulus measures to boost its weakening economy. The government also cut its growth forecast to potentially flat for the rest of the year, down from the already washed-out 0.5% figure expected.

These developments come just a day after the S&P 500 index tumbled -2.9%, following the release of weak economic data from Germany and China, which had renewed concerns over the health of the global economy, sending global risk-asset prices lower and reigniting a rally in government bond market.

The dour mood came as the yield curve between 2 and 10-year Treasuries turned negative for the first time since 2007; a metric which is watched by investors for signs of an impending recession.

Ahead, in today’s economic calendar, Thursday includes; Weekly Jobless Claims, the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for August and Retail Sales data for July which are scheduled for release at 8:30am EST, followed by Industrial and Manufacturing Production for July at 9:15am EST.

In corporate news; Walmart (WMT), Nvidia (NVDA), Alibaba (BABA), Applied Materials (AMAT), Nio (NIO), J.C. Penney (JCP), iHeartMedia (IHRT) and Tapestry (TPR) are amongst the major companies scheduled to report today.

China & Trade: China says it has to take counter-measures to latest US tariffs. (CNBC)
China has to take necessary counter-measures to the latest US tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods, the finance ministy said on Thursday.

Hong Kong & Politics: Trump Ties Trade Deal to China Action in Hong Kong, Suggests Meeting With Xi. (The WSJ)
Trump suggested a “personal meeting” with China’s President Xi Jinping to discuss the escalating crisis in Hong Kong and warned China it must respond “humanely” to the protests if it wants to strike a trade deal.

Today's Economical Announcements.
08:30AM - ★☆☆ - Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 209,000)
08:30AM - 
★★★ C. Retail Sales (MoM) (Jul) (Previous: 0.4%)

08:30AM - ★★★ Retail Sales (MoM) (Jul) (Previous: 0.4%)
08:30AM - ★★★ Philly Fed Manuf. (Aug) (Previous: 21.8)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Nonfarm Productivity (QoQ) (Q2) (Previous: 3.4%)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - NY Empire State Manuf. (Aug) (Previous: 4.30)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Philly Fed Employment (Aug) (Previous: 30.0)
09:15AM - ★★☆ - Industrial Production (YoY) (Jul) (Previous: 0.0%)
09:15AM - ★★☆ - Manuf. Production (MoM) (Jul) (Previous: 0.4%)
10:00AM - ★★☆ - Business Inventories (MoM) (Jun) (Previous: 0.3%)

Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.

Walmart (WMT): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.27 per share, 5 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. U.S. comparable-store sales rose 2.8%, better than the 2.4% consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Walmart also raised its full-year sales and earnings forecast.

Tapestry (TPR): [EARNINGS] Matched forecasts with adjusted quarterly earnings of 61 cent per share, matching estimates. Revenue, however, fell below forecasts, with the company saying results were strong at its Coach unit but that Kate Spade sales did not meet its expectations.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 83 cents per share, a penny a share above estimates. The networking equipment maker’s revenue came in above forecasts, as well, however its current-quarter earnings and revenue guidance is below estimates. Cisco pointed to impending U.S. tariffs and Chinese customers no longer buying from Cisco.

General Electric (GE): [NEWS] Bernie Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos targeted the conglomerate in a new report, saying it was hiding the depths of its financial problems. 

Alibaba (BABA): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines for its latest quarter. Results were helped by growth in both its core e-commerce business and its cloud computing unit.

J.C. Penney (JCP): [EARNINGS] Lost 18 cents per share for the second quarter, smaller than the 31 cents a share loss expected by Wall Street. Comparable-store sales were down 9%, compared to a consensus estimate of a 5.2% decline.

Pivotal Software (PVTL): [BUYOUT] VMWare (VMW) said it would proceed with an agreement to acquire Pivotal’s class A shares for $15 per share, nearly 81% above yesterday’s closing price. (AMZN): [NEWS] Berkshire’s quarterly 13F filing showed that Warren Buffett’s company boosted its stake in Amazon. Berkshire had 537,300 Amazon shares at the end of the second quarter, compared with 483,300 at the end of the first quarter.

NetApp (NTAP): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 65 cents per share, 7 cents a share above estimates. The cloud data services company is also forecasting profit above Wall Street estimates for the current quarter.

Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Is delaying delivery of an ultra-long-range version of its 777X aircraft. The delay comes as Boeing deals with the ongoing grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft as well as engine issues with the 777X.

Liberty Formula One (FWONA): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” at J.P. Morgan Chase, which said the race track operator is now in a position to reap the benefits of past investments.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A): [NEWS] William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital took a new stake in Berkshire Hathaway during the second quarter, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. 


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