Futures tilt lower as China blasts U.S. House bills supporting Hong Kong protests

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U.S. stocks

Wall Street set to open lower

U.S. stocks are set to fall at the open on Wednesday after China warned it would take strong countermeasures to prevent the U.S. government playing Hong Kong as a card to interfere in its internal affairs.

The move came after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved four bills backing pro-democracy demonstrations in Chinese-controlled Hong Kong.

Investors are concerned the bills, which Beijing has described as having “sinister intentions,” could ruin the temporary U.S.-China trade truce that President Donald Trump announced last week.

By 5:19 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 89 points, or about 0.33% to 26,913.  The S&P 500 futures fell 9.87 points, or around 0.33% to 2,987.88, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 23.25 points, or roughly 0.29% to 7,936.50.

Netflix, IBM earnings on tap

Streaming giant Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is expected to report third-quarter earnings of $1.04 per share on revenue of $5.25 billion after the close today. IBM (NYSE: IBM) will also post its quarterly results after the bell.

Companies reporting before the open include Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC), Progressive Corp (NYSE: PGR), Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB).

U.S. retail sales for September

On the data front, investors will get to know the health of the U.S. consumers today amid signs of weakness in some areas of the economy. The Department of Commerce will release retail sales for September at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Analysts expect retail sales to have risen 0.3% on a month-on-month basis. The data could be important for the Fed’s next interest rate decision on Oct. 29-30.

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