New York equity index futures rose cautiously ahead of Thursday’s open, following a report which indicated slowing industrial output in China, during January and February.

Overnight, China’s industrial output rose a weaker-than-expected +5.3% in the first two months of 2019, their slowest pace of growth in 17 years – retail sales, however, rose +8.2% – a figure that topped economists’ forecasts.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said, on Wednesday, that he is in no rush to complete a trade pact with China – despite their most recent month-long round of negotiations.

This comes after Trump and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, had been expected to hold a summit at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida, later this month – with no date currently set.

Stocks in the US finished higher Wednesday, securing their longest winning streak in nearly a month, with Healthcare (+1.08%) and Energy (+1.01%) shares carrying the S&P 500 to its highest mark of 2019.

The S&P 500 finished the session up +0.66%, its third consecutive day of gains, with the Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average sharing a similar fate, adding +0.75% and +0.58% to their value.

Influencing the markets, in today’s economic calendar; Weekly Jobless Claims, as well as Import and Export Price data for February will be released at 8:30am EST, followed by New Home Sales for January at 10am EST.

In earnings; Oracle (ORCL), Adobe (ADBE), Dollar General (DG), Ascena (ASNA), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Broadcom (AVGO), Noodles & Co (NDLS), Pivotal Software (PVTL), Tenneco (TEN), Jabil (JBL) and Zumiez (ZUMZ) will all report their latest financial results today.


China & Trade: China and US to push back Trump-Xi meeting to at least April. (Bloomberg) A meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping to sign an agreement to end their trade war won’t occur this month and is more likely to happen in April at the earliest, three people familiar with the matter said.

Brexit & GBP: British pound surges the most in nearly two years. (CNBC) The Sterling rose on Wednesday after UK lawmakers rejected leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement. The pound was up +2% against the dollar as investors became more optimistic that a ‘Hard Brexit’ would be ruled out.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR: Today’s Economical Announcements

08:30AM – ★☆☆ – Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 223,000) 08:30AM – ★★☆ – Export Price Index (MoM) (Feb) (Previous: -0.6%) 08:30AM – ★★☆ – Import Price Index (MoM) (Feb) (Previous: -1.7%) 10:00AM – ★★☆ – New Home Sales (Jan) (MoM) (Previous: 3.7%) 10:00AM – ★★★ – New Home Sales (Jan) (Previous: 621K)

STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks

Tailored Brands (TLRD): [EARNINGS] Reported a quarterly loss of 28 cents per share, a penny a share smaller than anticipated. Revenue missed forecasts. The parent of the Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse chains gave weaker-than-expected current-quarter guidance, saying comparable-store sales had dropped during the fourth quarter and that the trend had continued into 2019.

MongoDB (MDB): [EARNINGS] Lost an adjusted 17 cents per share for its latest quarter, less than half the 38 cents a share loss that analysts had expected. Revenue also beat forecasts, and it gave stronger-than-expected guidance for both the current quarter and the full year.

Genesco (GCO): [EARNINGS] Earned an adjusted $2.18 per share for its latest quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.33 a share. Revenue and comparable-store sales missed estimates and Genesco issued a weaker-than-expected fiscal 2020 forecast.

Cloudera (CLDR): [EARNINGS] Reported a quarterly loss of 15 cents per share, 4 cents a share wider than analysts had anticipated. The cloud software company’s revenue exceeded Street forecasts, but its 2019 outlook was weaker than expected.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): [NEWS] A cancer victim who had used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder-based products was awarded $29 million by a California jury. J&J faces more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits.

Dollar General (DLTR): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.84 per share, 4 cents a share below estimates. Revenue, beat estimates, and a comparable-store sales increase of 4.0 percent was better than the 2.6 percent increase predicted by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 10 percent to 32 cents per share, and added $1 billion to its stock buyback program.

Apple (AAPL): [RATING] Rated “outperform” in new coverage at Cowen, based largely on increasing contributions to earnings from Apple’s services business.

Facebook (FB): [NEWS] Facebook’s user data deals are the subject of a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors, according to The New York Times.

General Mills (GIS): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank, saying the company’s core business has stabilized and that the opportunity represented by its Blue Buffalo pet products business remains underappreciated.

General Electric (GE): [EARNINGS] Issued a 2019 outlook, saying it would earn an adjusted 50 cents to 60 cents per share for 2019, compared to the 70 cents a share consensus estimate. GE CEO Larry Culp said the company’s challenges are “challenging but clear” and that he expects 2020 and 2021 to be significantly better.

Boeing (BA): [NEWS] The Federal Aviation Administration grounded its fleet of 737 MAX jets while it investigates the causes of two recent overseas crashes involving the jet. Boeing shares did rise Wednesday after falling for seven straight sessions.

Wells Fargo (WFC): [NEWS] CEO Tim Sloan received a 5 percent pay raise for 2018, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. That news comes a day after Sloan faced criticism at a congressional hearing over the bank’s efforts to rebound from the 2016 customer account scandal.

Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] Tesla will introduce its Model Y SUV today at an event near Los Angeles. Production is expected to begin sometime in 2020.

Verizon (VZ): [NEWS] Verizon plans to charge an extra $10 per month for customers of 5-G mobile service. It will be available only to unlimited data plan subscribers with compatible devices. Verizon is the first major US mobile carrier to reveal 5-G pricing.

Delta Air Lines (DAL): [NEWS] Berkshire Hathaway has increased its stake in Delta, according to an SEC filing. A Berkshire subsidiary bought 6,500 additional Delta shares, increasing Berkshire’s total Delta holding to just under 71 million shares.