Futures Poised For Lower Open As U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume

  1. U.S. Fourth Quarter GDP Final Revision

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will release its second revision of annualized fourth-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect the bureau to say that growth rate moderated to 2.4% during the last three months of 2018 compared with its previous estimate of 2.6%.

Although fourth quarter GDP is still subject to revisions, investors are not anticipating any major surprises that could shake the markets. Markets are also awaiting the U.S. weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET and pending home sales report at 10:00 a.m. ET.

At around 6:45 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow indicated a drop of 5.5 points, or 0.02% to 25,654.5. Futures on the S&P 500 were down 0.62 points, or 0.02% to 2,809.88 while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 fell 1.62 points, 0.02% to 7,332.88.

  1. FOMC Members Set To Give Speeches

FOMC officials Randal Quarles, James Bullard, Richard Clarida, and Michelle Bowman are scheduled to make give speeches today.

Although the Fed is expected to slash rates by September, the speeches could offer market participants some more clarity on what lies ahead on the monetary policy front. Last week, the central bank said it doesn’t anticipate any rate hikes in 2019.

  1. S., China To Resume Trade Talks

U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are set to resume high-level talks aimed at ending the tariffs war between the two nations. United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer will be in Beijing today and tomorrow.

Liu He, China’s top negotiator is also expected to travel to the U.S. next week. Last week, President Trump expressed optimism saying, “we’re getting very close.”

  1. UK Parliament Votes On Eight Brexit Options

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday made a final effort to save support for her Brexit withdrawal deal by promising to quit. The Prime Minister told her Conservative MPs that she would resign if parliament passed the deal at the third attempt.

May, however, failed to win support of lawmakers from Northern Ireland who voiced concerns that their province would not be treated the same way as the rest of the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, parliament voted against all eight of the Brexit options. Britain’s FTSE edged less than 0.1% lower to 7,194.19.