Stocks poised to open lower
U.S. stock index futures were lower on Friday as investors digested weaker-than-expected Chinese industrial output growth in May and a batch of chip stocks tumbled.
China’s industrial output in may expanded 5% on a year-over-year basis, its weakest growth since February 2002.
Economists were expecting industrial output to grow 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, according to figures compiled by Reuters. The weak industrial output figures highlight the challenges that the Asian economic giant is facing as its trade war with the U.S. continues to escalate.
Meanwhile, chip stocks tumbled in premarket trading led by Broadcom Inc (NASDAQ: AVGO), after the company posted disappointing Q2 revenue.
Broadcom also tweaked its fiscal 2019 revenue outlook, citing the ongoing U.S.-China trade conflicts and the Huawei ban.
At 6:01 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow were down 36 points, or 0.14% to 26,081. Futures on tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 declined 54.25 points, or 0.72% to 7,468.5 while those on the broader S&P 500 fell 8.12 points, or 0.28% to 2,886.38.
Trump administration accuses Iran for Gulf of Oman tanker attacks
The U.S. government is blaming Iran for brazen attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reports on Thursday.
The U.S. Central Command released a video late Thursday that appears to show Iranian military removing an unexploded mine from one of the damaged tankers. Iranian officials have dismissed Pompeo’s allegations as “unfounded,” saying the Middle Eastern nation had no connection with the attacks.
Oil prices jumped on Thursday following the attacks, but turned lower on Friday morning after the International Energy Agency (IEA) trimmed its forecast for global oil demand growth. The agency cited escalating trade tensions amid worries of a global recession.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 0.3% to trade at $52.15 a barrel on Friday morning. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, fell 0.1% to trade at $61.25 a barrel.
Chewy prices IPO at $22 a share
Chewy, an online pet products retailer, priced shares for its initial public offering at $22 on Thursday, above the projected range of $19 to $21.
Close to 46 million shares were sold, and the company is set to begin trading today under the ticker “CHWY” on the New York Stock Exchange.
Facebook signs up high-profile companies to back its upcoming cryptocurrency
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA), PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), and Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) are backing a new cryptocurrency called GlobalCoin, which Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) plans to roll out in 2020.
According to the journal, which cited anonymous sources, each company will invest roughly $10 million into a foundation that will govern GlobalCoin. The funds will be used to create the backing for the virtual currency.