Stocks poised to start lower
U.S. stocks are seen opening lower on Wednesday as market participants await a fresh batch of corporate earnings. At 7:12 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow were down 54.5 points, or 0.21% to 25,515.5.
Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 declined 10.88, or 0.15% to 7,410.12 while those on the S&P 500 pointed to a loss of 5.63 points, or 0.20% to 2,833.62.
Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings before the opening bell. Macy’s, Inc (NYSE: M), and Childrens Place, Inc (NASDAQ: PLCE) will also release their earnings before the open.
China posts dismal retail sales data
Chinese economic growth slowed sharply in April, with retail sales growth and industrial production posting huge drops. U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increases on goods coming from China seems to be hammering manufacturers.
Growth in industrial output slowed to 5.4% over a year earlier from March’s 8.5% growth, according to official data released by the Chinese government. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast industrial production growth of 6.5% in April.
Retail sales rose 7.2% over a year ago, compared with 8.7% in March – their slowest pace in nearly 16 years. Economists were expecting retail sales to grow by 8.6% last month.
U.K. lawmakers to vote on Brexit deal in June
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will put her proposed Brexit deal to a fourth vote in parliament on the week of June 3, to allow the country to leave the European Union by the time MPs break for summer recess. The vote will happen whether or not the current discussions between the opposition and the government result in any cross-party deal.
Downing Street made the announcement during a meeting between opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Prime Minister. “It is imperative we do so then if the UK is to leave the EU before the summer parliamentary recess,” a Downing Street spokesman said.
It will be the fourth time that MPs vote on her withdrawal agreement, after disappointing her in each previous vote.
Oil prices drop as U.S. supplies increase
Oil prices fell in early trading on Wednesday after the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced on Tuesday that U.S. crude stockpiles jumped by 8.63 million barrels in the week to May 10, undermining expectations of a tight market. Analysts were expecting crude inventories to decrease by 800,000 barrels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will publish crude oil inventories data for the week ended May 10 today. As of 12:06 a.m. ET, U.S. Crude Oil WTI futures were down 0.6% to trade at $61.40, while international Brent Oil futures declined 0.3% to $71.04.