Stocks: 5 things to know before the bell
1. Free trade talk: Free trade is set to be a big topic today.
The 28 nations in the European Union are set to sign a free trade deal with Japan on Thursday.On the same day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting a bilateral meeting with President Trump in Germany. Merkel criticized the U.S. administration’s approach to world trade on Wednesday.
All this high-level action comes the day before world leaders meet at a two-day G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
2. Global market overview: There’s a slightly negative mood in the stock markets right now.
U.S. stock futures are pointing down and European markets are slipping in early trading.
Most Asian markets ended the day with small losses.
This comes after an exciting day for the Nasdaq but a quiet day for the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500. The Nasdaq surged by 0.7% on Wednesday. The tech-focused index is up just over 14% since the start of the year and it’s surged nearly 27% in the last 12 months.
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3. Look to the skies: Another major airline has gotten the green light to let passengers bring laptops and tablets into the cabin on flights to the U.S.
Qatar Airways said a U.S. ban on electronic devices larger than a smartphone in cabins was lifted Thursday.
The U.S. introduced the ban in March over concerns that devices could be used to smuggle explosives on board.
Three other big airlines have had the laptop ban lifted in recent days: Etihad of Abu Dhabi, Emirates of Dubai and Turkish Airlines.
4. Stocks to watch — Tesla, Yum China, Reckitt Benckiser: Investors will be closely monitoring Tesla (TSLA) shares after the stock dropped 7.2% on Wednesday.
The fall came after the electric carmaker reported slower-than-expected production in the latest quarter due to a “severe production shortfall” of car batteries.
Shares in Yum China (YUMC) look set to tumble after the company reported worse-than-exected quarterly results on Wednesday.
London-traded Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) is having a difficult day in the markets. Shares in the company behind Lysol and Durex condoms are down 2% after the firm warned that a recent global cyberattack would hurt sales.
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5. Coming this week:
Thursday — U.S. ADP Employment Change report out at 8:15 a.m.; U.S. crude oil inventories data released at 11 a.m.
Friday — Bureau of Labor Statistics releases June jobs report at 8:30 a.m.; G20 leaders meet in Hamburg, Germany
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