Premarket: 4 things to know before the bell
1. Mayhem in the U.K.: A shock general election result has sown confusion over the Brexit process and put a squeeze on the British pound.
No party won an overall majority in parliament on Thursday, leading to questions over whether Prime Minister Theresa May can continue to lead the U.K.
May defied calls to step down on Friday, saying that she would form a new government. But major questions over her position remain.
Investors responded to the huge shot of political uncertainty by pushing the pound down by about 2% to trade near $ 1.27, its lowest level since April.
London’s FTSE 100 index gained around 0.6%. The index is dominated by global companies that do business abroad, and a weaker British currency makes their international sales even more lucrative when translated into pounds.
Big businesses are very worried, however. Their main concern is more confusion over Britain’s departure from the European Union.
“The last thing business leaders need is a parliament in paralysis, and the consequences for British businesses and for the U.K. as an investment destination would be severe,” warned Stephen Martin, head of the Institute of Directors, a U.K. business lobby group.
Formal Brexit negotiations are set to start in just 10 days.
2. New records in sight: The Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq set new record highs on Thursday and momentum could carry over into Friday.
U.S. stock futures were holding steady.
European markets advanced in early trading. Asian markets ended the week with mixed results.
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3. Corporate shake-ups: JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is set to lose another high-profile executive who was widely thought to be a potential heir apparent to CEO Jamie Dimon.
Hudson’s Bay(HBAYF) — the parent company of retailers Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor — announced it’s cutting its workforce by about 2,000 jobs across its North American operations. The company said Thursday that the layoffs aim to “flatten the organization by removing layers to make [Hudson’s Bay] more nimble and streamlined.”
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4. Coming this week:
Friday – Tim Cook delivers MIT commencement speech
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