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Market: Stocks to open higher with trade talks in spotlight

US stocks are set to open higher after ending in red on Thursday, as investors kept a close watch on trade talks between the US and China. Oil prices continued to rise helped by looming sanctions on Iran, strong demand, Nigerian disruptions and plummeting Venezuelan production.

The S&P futures rose 0.06% to 2,720.50, and Dow futures advanced 0.21% to 24,757, while Nasdaq inched up 0.001% to 6,906 at 8:20 am ET. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed mixed on Friday, while European stocks are trading in the red.

On the European economic front, data from the Statistics Portugal showed that Portugal’s producer price inflation accelerated to 1.2% in April from 1% in March. Czech Statistical Office report revealed that Czech producer prices remained flat in April after rising 0.1% in March. Destatis data showed that Germany’s wholesale price inflation accelerated to 1.4% in April from 1.2% in March, and Germany’s consumer price inflation rose to 2% in April from 1.9% in March.

Eurostat report revealed that Eurozone trade surplus increased to EUR 21.2 billion in March from EUR 20.9 billion in February, and both exports and imports rose by 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively in March. European Central Bank data showed that euro area current account surplus fell to EUR 32 billion in March from EUR 36.8 billion in February.

On the Asian economic front, data from the Department of Statistics showed that Singapore’s domestic wholesale trade increased 5.7% sequentially in the first quarter after rising 5.2% in the previous quarter. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications report revealed that nationwide consumer prices in Japan rose 0.6% on year in April after increasing 1.1% in March, and core CPI inched up 0.7% on year in April after rising 0.9% in March.

U.S. stock market snapshot
U.S. stock market snapshot

On May 17, US ended lower, with Dow down 0.22% to 24,713.98. S&P 500 slid 0.086% to 2,720.13, and Nasdaq fell 0.21% to 7,382.47. Traders remained negative due to uncertainty surrounding the second round of trade talks between the US and China.

Meanwhile, key economic events scheduled for today include the Baker Hughes North American rig count. Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan, and Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard will be giving speeches today.

Key companies reporting earnings today include Apollo Investment Corp (AINV), Deere & Company (DE), Campbell Soup (CPB), and Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI).

On the corporate front, Applied Materials (AMAT) stock fell 5.67% in the premarket after weak sales outlook. Nordstrom (JWN) stock slipped 6.80% in the premarket after weaker same-store sales growth. Carver Bancorp (CARV) stock jumped 18.18% in the premarket after shooting 201% on Thursday. However, there is no explanation or news for this spike. Campbell Soup (CPB) stock dropped 5.28% in the premarket after executive chief Denise Morrison has decided to retire and board member Keith McLoughlin will serve as interim CEO.

Crude oil futures are up 0.17% to $71.61. Gold is trading down 0.13% to $1,287.70, and silver is down 0.19% to $16.45. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading up 0.16% at 110.951 yen. Against the euro, the dollar down 0.15% to $1.1779. Against the pound, the dollar is down 0.18% to $1.3491.

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