Futures slightly lower, Trade concerns, Schwab-TD Ameritrade deal, Apple, and more

Wall Street

U.S.-China trade fears resurface

Wall Street is expected to open slightly lower this morning, extending Wednesday’s losses, as the prospects of a near-term trade truce between the United States and China wane.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that a phase-one trade deal may slip into next year, as Chinese negotiators stick firm to their demand that the U.S. removes more tariffs, and President Donald Trump steps his own demands.

When asked about the trade talks on Wednesday, the president said Beijing has not made enough concessions to strike a trade agreement with his administration. “I don’t think they’re stepping up to the level that I want,” he told reporters in Texas.

As of 4:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were seen dropping 51 points, or 0.18% to 27,749. The S&P 500 futures declined 5.12 points, or 0.16% to 3,103.88 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were down 18.13 points, or 0.22% to 8,273.62.

Schwab reportedly looking to buy TD Ameritrade

Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE: SCHW) is said to be in talks to buy rival brokerage firm TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ: AMTD), according to a CNBC report that cited sources close to the transaction.

The report said the firms could announce the deal as early as today (Thursday). Shares of TD Ameritrade rocketed 18.41% to $49.00 in premarket trade following the news.

Trump considers excluding Apple products from China tariffs

Trump said on Wednesday that he was considering whether to exempt Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) from a 15% tariff that went into effect on September 1, targeting nearly $110 billion worth of Chinese imports including the iMac, Apple Watch, and parts for the iPhone and other electronics.

“We’ll look into that,” Trump responded after a reporter asked if the company ought to receive tariff exemptions. “We have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung,” he added.

The president made the comments during a tour of a Flextronics plant in Texas, where Apple Mac Pro are assembled. He was accompanied by his daughter, Ivanka Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The next round of U.S. tariffs on $156 billion of Chinese imports is set for December 15.

More earnings

Investors are expecting quarterly financial results from BJ’s Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ) and Macy’s (NYSE: M) ahead of the opening bell today.

Companies reporting after the market close include Gap (NYSE: GPS), Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST), Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN), Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), and Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU).