Stocks poised to rise at opening bell
U.S. stocks looked set to bounce back on Wednesday, as market participants digested a report by Bloomberg News saying that Beijing is still open to the idea of a partial trade deal with Washington, provided that no more tariffs are imposed by the Trump administration.
In return, China could offer non-core concessions like purchases of more U.S. farm products, according to the news outlet which cited a Chinese official with direct knowledge of the matter.
However, China is not willing to make commitments to reform its industrial policy or subsidies for its firms. U.S. and Chinese trade officials are set to resume high-level talks on Thursday and Friday.
By 5:18 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 189 points, or about 0.72% to 26,327, the S&P 500 futures rose 24.38 points, or around 0.84% to 2,916.88, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 70 points, or roughly 0.92% to 7,692.
Jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $8 billion over antipsychotic drug
A jury on Tuesday said Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) will have to pay $8 billion in punitive damages after a man claimed the consumer healthcare giant failed to properly warn young men that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could grow breasts.
Nicholas Murray, a Maryland resident, alleged in a lawsuit that he ended up developing gynecomastia after taking Risperdal from 2003 to 2008. Gynecomastia is a condition that causes a man’s breast to grow.
J&J said the ruling was “grossly disproportionate” and plans to appeal. The company is currently facing over 13,000 legal lawsuits related to the drug.
Its shares were down 2.18% to $128.96 in premarket trade Wednesday.
PG&E begins cutting power for customers in Californians
PG&E Corp (NYSE: PCG) has begun shutting off electricity for as many as 800,000 homes and businesses across parts of northern California, in a move aimed at preventing deadly wildfires. The utility left close to 500,000 customers without power starting at midnight Wednesday.
Some customers are likely to be left in the dark for five days as all power lines must be checked and declared safe before power is restored, PG&E said. Sonoma, El Dorado, Humboldt, and Nevada are among the most affected counties.
PG&E has been held responsible for dozens of wildfires that have ravaged parts of California in recent years, including an inferno that killed 86 people last year.