Futures Set To Spike On Renewed Trade Optimism

  1. U.S. futures point to a higher open

U.S. stock index futures are expected to open in positive territory today after U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin tweeted about a “productive working dinner”, highlighting progress in China-U.S. trade talks. Although discussions between the two sides are not as fast as earlier planned, Mnuchin’s positive tweet supports optimism in U.S. markets.

At 7:10 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow indicated a gain of 87 points, or 0.34% to 25,824. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 rose 32.25 points, or 0.44% to 7,384.25, while those on the S&P 500 were up 11 points, or 0.40% to 2,832.38.

  1. Lyft shares begin trading today

Shares of Lyft will begin trading today, hours after the ride-hailing company raised the price range of its IPO from $62-$68 per share to $70-$72 per share. The new price range gives it a valuation of about $20 billion. Lyft will be seeking to raise $2.7 billion when its shares trade for the first time under the ticker symbol “LYFT” on the Nasdaq stock market.

The company’s initial public offering is one of the most highly anticipated offerings of 2019. Other major tech companies expected to line up behind Lyft, include Uber, Pinterest, Slack, and Airbnb.

  1. Well Fargo CEO steps down

Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan is stepping down from the troubled banking giant. Sloan announced his retirement on Thursday, paving way for interim Chief Executive and President Allen Parker. The bank has been hurt by a convergence of bad news over the past few years following a massive fake accounts scandal.

Well Fargo is reported to have opened over 3 million fake accounts from 2011 to mid-2016 to help boost its revenue. Sloan will leave the company on June 30, 2019. Shares of the company rose more than 3% in after-hours trade Thursday, immediately following the announcement.

  1. British parliament to hold third Brexit vote

Lawmakers in the U.K. will today hold a third vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for exiting the European Union. However, the vote will not cover the political declaration that deals with the country’s future relationship with the EU.

According to House Speaker John Bercow, parliament will vote on a motion to approve the Brexit withdrawal agreement, which outlines the terms of leaving the bloc. The U.K. is required to set out an alternative path by April 12 if the lawmakers vote against the deal today.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has already blasted the deal, which he described as “the blindest of blind Brexits.” Sterling pound edged lower against the euro and dollar on Friday morning.