US equity-index futures dropped on caution ahead of Monday’s open as weaker-than-expected China trade data sparked fresh concerns over global economic slowdown, all-the-while adding to anxiety surrounding the partial government shutdown, the longest in modern history, showing no signs of ending.

The moves in pre-market trade come on the tail end of Friday’s session where US stocks struggled to extend their daily winning streak; despite this, the S&P 500 chalked in its sixth consecutive green day, with the benchmark now advancing for its third consecutive week, it’s longest weekly winning streak since August.

Investors had been encouraged by signs that trade talks between the US and China were making progress, while responding to reassurances from Federal Reserve policymakers that they would take a patient approach to raising interest rates this year.

The S&P 500 closed +0.04% higher, rallying back from a drop of -0.75% earlier in the session.
Telecommunication was the benchmark’s best-performing sector, up +0.76%; followed by Healthcare and Consumer Staples, positive +0.33% and +0.29% respectively, leveraging the market higher.

These gains were offset by the likes of Energy, retracing down -0.59%, as Brent crude’s record equalling nine-day winning streak also came to an end on Friday, as well as Basic Materials (-0.4%) and Utilities (-0.37%), both recording losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished -0.05% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite slid -0.37% into the close.

In today’s corporate news, the latest earnings season had officially commenced, with investors likely to track Citigroup (C), the company set to update investors before the bell; alongside, Interactive Brokers (IBKR), USA Technologies (USAT), PolarityTE (PTE) and WageWorks (WAGE) also set to release their latest financial results today.


China & Trade: US trade deficit with China grows to a record and it’s likely even worse than the data shows. (CNBC)
Despite US President Donald Trump launching a high-stakes trade war against Beijing last year, China on Monday announced that its 2018 trade surplus with Washington was its largest in more than a decade. China’s surplus with the U.S. grew 17 percent from a year ago to hit $323.32 billion in 2018, according to government data.

Brexit: EU’s Assurances Fall Short of What May Wanted. (Bloomberg)
Theresa May made a last-ditch attempt to win lawmakers over to her Brexit deal, as the European Union’s own efforts to help her fell short. Keir Starmer, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary, confirmed that the EU’s letter will do nothing to win over the UK’s official opposition to supporting May’s deal.

Today’s Economical Announcements

11:30AM – ★☆☆ – 3-Month Bill Auction (Previous: 2.410%)
11:30AM – ★☆☆ – 6-Month Bill Auction (Previous: 2.470%)

Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks

PG&E (PCG): [NEWS] Chief Executive Officer Geisha Williams stepped down over the weekend, as the utility deals with the financial impact of possible links to the recent California wildfires.

Goldcorp (GG): [BUYOUT] Will be acquired by Newmont Mining (NEM) in a $10 billion deal. The price for the combination of the two gold producers represents about a 17 percent premium for Goldcorp shareholders.

Western Digital (WDC): [DOWNGRADE] Evercore downgraded the disk drive maker’s stock to “underperform” from “in line,” saying the market is underappreciating the impact of lower memory chip prices and structural competitive issues on Western Digital.

Delta Air Lines (DAL): [DOWNGRADE] Bank of America downgraded the airline’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” saying Delta lacks the earnings catalysts it sees in other airline stocks.

Gannett (GCI): [NEWS] Gannett is the target of a $12 per share cash takeover bid by MNG Enterprises. MNG is one of the largest newspaper chains in the U.S. and has built a 7.5 percent stake in the USA Today publisher.

Lululemon (LULU): [GUIDANCE] Raised its full-year earnings and revenue guidance amid increased sales momentum. Lululemon now expects to earn $1.72 to $1.74 per share for its fourth quarter, compared to its prior estimate of $1.64 to 41.67 a share and a consensus Wall Street projection of $1.69 a share.

Apple (AAPL): [NEWS] One of its chip suppliers, Germany’s Dialog Semiconductor, reported fourth-quarter sales at the low end of its target range.

Citigroup (C): [EARNINGS] Posted fourth-quarter revenue that missed analysts estimates by a half billion dollars as bond trading revenue declined amid a difficult December for markets.

General Electric (GE): [NEWS] GE’s Medical Systems Information Technology unit won a $450 million Pentagon contract for patient monitoring systems.

Viacom (VIAB): [NEWS] The media company is in talks to sell a majority stake of some of its China operations, according to sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

Sherwin-Williams (SHW): [UPGRADE] Sherwin-Williams was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” at Wells Fargo, which believes that investors are underestimating the paint producer’s potential upside.

IBM (IBM): [NEWS] IBM will buy Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems mainframe service business for just under $1 billion, according to Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper.