Futures point to higher open
U.S. stock index futures are set for a positive start on Wednesday as investors await quarterly earnings from 42 S&P 500 companies. Among the companies releasing earnings before the opening bell today include Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT), Boeing Co (NYSE: BA), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC), General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD), and AT&T Inc (NYSE: T).
At 6:22 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow advanced 37.5, or 0.14% to 26,676.5. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq indicated a gain of 3.12 points, or 0.04% to 7,841.12 while the S&P 500 were up 0.62 points, or 0.02% to 2,938.62.
US-China trade talks
White House on Tuesday issued a statement saying US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will travel to China for trade talks scheduled to kick off on April 30.
According to the statement, the subjects of next week’s discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement.
Crude oil prices fall as US stockpiles surge
Oil prices slumped Wednesday after the American Petroleum Institute released data on Tuesday showing U.S. crude inventories increased by 6.9 million barrels last week, which was higher than projected.
Separately, the International Energy Agency (IEA) also released a statement saying that “global spare production capacity remains at comfortable levels” and that markets are “adequately supplied.” Prices jumped on Monday after Trump administration announced it would no longer exempt any country from buying Iranian oil.
Brent crude futures were at $74.30 per barrel at 5:24 a.m., ET on Wednesday, down $0.21, or 0.3%, from their previous settlement. Meanwhile, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $65.94 per barrel, down $28 cents, or 0.4%, from their last close.
Occidental makes bid to acquire Anadarko
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) on Wednesday morning made a formal bid to buy rival Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC). Occidental offered to pay shareholders of Anadarko $38 in cash and 0.6094 Occidental shares per share, surpassing the current offer that Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX) has made for Anadarko.
Anadarko stock climbed $6.03, or 9.42% to $70.02 in pre-market immediately following the news, while Occidental lost $4.55, or 7.30% to $57.81.