Premarket: 6 things to know before the bell
1. Spotlight on Spain: Investors are closely monitoring the most serious political crisis to hit Spain in four decades.
The benchmark Spanish stock index jumped 1% early Monday, a signal that investors believe reconciliation between the separatist government of Catalonia and Madrid is more likely.
The Catalan government has threatened to declare independence following a controversial referendum. But Catalans opposed to a break with Spain flooded the streets of Barcelona on Sunday.
Businesses are now reacting to the increased uncertainty: The lenders CaixaBank and Banco Sabadell have both announced plans to move their headquarters out of Catalonia.
“Last week’s decision of the top two Catalan banks to shift their headquarters to other parts of Spain is just a foretaste of the calamities that could befall Barcelona,” Holger Schmieding, an economist at Berenberg Bank, wrote in a research note.
2. May survives (for now): The British pound has bounced back after a very bad week, gaining 0.4% against the dollar on Monday.
The currency had been hit by fears of even more political and policy uncertainty after Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a disastrous performance at her party’s annual meeting last week.
By Friday, a plot to remove her from office had burst into the open. It appears to have failed, but deep uncertainty about Britain’s future remains.
The fifth round of Brexit talks between the U.K. and the European Union is scheduled to start on Monday. The two sides have not yet started discussing their future trading relationship.
May is scheduled to meet with business leaders on Monday.
Consumer spending data published by Visa showed that outlays fell again in September as households were squeezed by rising inflation.
3. Global market overview: U.S. stock futures were higher.
Most European markets opened in positive territory, while stocks in Asia were mixed.
The Turkish lira slumped as much as 6.6% against the dollar on Monday after a spat over visas between the two countries intensified.
4. Markets winning streak ends: All three major U.S. stock indexes added more than 1% last week.
The Nasdaq rose for ninth day in a row on Friday, hitting a new record high.
But the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both ended slightly lower on Friday, ending their impressive winning streaks.
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5. Economics: German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who is leaving his post after eight years, has warned that spiraling levels of debt could lead to another global financial crisis.
“Economists all over the world are concerned about the increased risks arising from the accumulation of more and more liquidity and the growth of public and private debt. I myself am concerned about this, too,” he told the Financial Times.
The Nobel economics prize was awarded to American economist Richard Thaler on Monday for his contributions to behavioral economics. Thaler, a professor at the University of Chicago, is the co-author of “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness.”
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6. Coming this week:
Monday — Nobel Prize for economics
Tuesday — IMF World economic outlook
Wednesday — Delta earnings; BlackRock earnings
Thursday — JPMorgan earnings; Citigroup earnings
Friday — Bank of America earnings; Wells Fargo earnings
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