Stocks: 6 things to know before the bell
1. Bank earnings: JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) will report earnings before the opening bell.
They’re some of the biggest firms yet to issue second quarter results.
It’s unlikely that Corporate America will be able to match the stellar results posted in the first three months of the year. Profit growth in the first quarter hit 15%, the fastest pace since 2011. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that’s “as good as it gets.”
On Friday, investors will scrutinize Wells Fargo results for signs of further fallout from its fake account scandal.
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2. Economics: Consumer spending accounts for just over two-thirds of the U.S. economy, and the 8:30 a.m. ET report on American retail sales in June is considered a very important gauge of spending levels.
The report comes after Target (TAIEX) raised its earnings guidance on Thursday, saying it’s seen “improved traffic and sales.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release June inflation data at 8:30 a.m.
Traders will get an update at 10 a.m. on consumer confidence in a survey published by the University of Michigan.
3. Stocks to watch — Arconic, Honda: Shares in Arconic (ARNCPR) could dip on Friday after a shareholder filed suit in the U.S. accusing it of making false and misleading statements.
The lawsuit alleges the company knowingly sold highly flammable building materials that are thought to have contributed to the deadly Grenfell tower fire in London in June.
Arconic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Honda(HMC) will be in the hot seat Friday after the company announced a big recall overnight.
The Japanese automaker is recalling nearly 1.2 million Accord vehicles produced between 2013 and 2016, after receiving multiple reports of the cars’ battery sensors causing fires. Shares in Honda rose 1.4% in Tokyo despite the announcement.
4. Nerves of steel: Steel stocks will be closely monitored on Friday after President Trump indicated on Thursday that he was considering quotas and tariffs on imported steel.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is soon expected to announce the results of an investigation to determine whether steel shipped in from other countries is a risk to U.S. national security.
Trump is allowed to raise tariffs as high as he wants without Congressional approval if he cites national security as the reason.
5. Global stock market overview: The Dow Jones industrial average hit a new closing high on Thursday. But U.S. stock futures are indicating the index could pull back a bit when trading begins. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures are also looking a bit soft.
European markets were little changed in early trading. Asian markets closed with mixed results.
6. Coming this week:
Friday — JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) earnings; President Trump in France for Bastille Day
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