U.S. Futures Point Lower; All Eyes On Powell’s Testimony


Fed’s Powell begins two days of testimony today

U.S. equity futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wednesday, with investors anxiously awaiting Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell to kick off two days of testimony on Capitol Hill today at 10:00 a.m. ET.

It is likely the Fed chair will not depart much from his recent remarks that the central bank will “act as appropriate’’ to sustain the economic expansion. He is also likely to speak about slowing economic activity, and stress on the independence of the Fed.

At around 4:51 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow declined 42 points, or 0.16% to 26,737. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 were down 14.63 points, or 0.19% to 7,830.62 while those on the broader S&P 500 dropped 5.12 points, or 0.17% to 2,976.88.

Larry Kudlow says U.S and Chinese trade officials held “constructive” phone conversation

White House top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators held “constructive” phone talks on Tuesday after a two-month hiatus. Mr. Kudlow said the conversation “went well” and the two sides talked about a face-to-face meeting.

However, he warned there were “no miracles” to reach a deal a year after the two countries began their bruising trade war. “There are no miracles here. There was headway last winter and spring, then it stopped. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off, but I don’t know that yet,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House.

Netflix loses “Friends” to WarnerMedia

“Friends” –  the second-most watched show on Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) – is moving from the platform to AT&T’s WarnerMedia in 2020.“We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner’s streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in The US),” the streaming giant tweeted on Tuesday.

WarnerMedia will launch its own streaming service called HBO Max in the first quarter of next year. Shares of Netflix were down $1.18, or 0.31% to $378.75 before markets opened on Wednesday.

Oil jumps as traders await EIA crude inventory data

Oil prices rose early Wednesday ahead of Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly petroleum report at 10:30 a.m. ET. Brent crude futures rose $1.45 to $65.61 while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained $1.37 to $59.20.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday released data showing U.S. crude inventories decreased by 8.1 million barrels in the week ended July 5 to 461.4 million barrels. Analysts were expecting a decline of 3.1 million barrels.