US Stock Futures Edge Higher Ahead of Trade Talks

August 20, 2018

New York (Aug 20)  U.S. stocks markets are pointing to a positive start on Monday, Aug. 20, following their European and Asian counterparts higher, as investors await trade talks between the U.S. and China later this week and a meeting of central bankers.

The S&P 500 is expected to add 6 points, or 0.23%, when markets open and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.16%.

Investors this week will be looking to a meeting of central bankers at the Kansas City Fed's Jackson Hole symposium for signs of their outlook on markets. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak on Friday. The Fed this week will also release its minutes from its July 31 to Aug. 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Get Report) shares dropped 3.31% in premarket trading, after reports that the Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund, who CEO Elon Musk said could help him fund his take-private plan, was in talks about investing in rival Lucid Motors Inc. Reuters reported that the wealth fund, known as the PIF could incest more than $1 billion in Lucid and obtain majority ownership. Tesla shares lost 8.93% on Friday after Musk gave an afternoon with the New York Times, going into the details surrounding his now infamous Aug. 7 tweet and his punishing work schedule.

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL - Get Report) saw shares fall 3.34% in the premarket after it said it expects earnings in its fiscal first quarter of $1.18-$1.22, against expectation of $1.32. The company, however, posted fourth-quarter sales and profit that beat estimates due to higher sales of Estee Lauder makeup and Clinique and La Mer skincare.

Sodastream International Ltd. (SODA - Get Report) shares were up 10.24% in premarket after PepsiCo Inc. (PEP - Get Report) said it had entered an agreement to buy the Israel-based in-home soda maker in a $3.2 billion deal. The deal will likely be PepsiCo's outgoing CEO Indra Nooyi's final big move before she steps down from the position on Oct. 3. PepsiCo shares were up 0.052% in premarket after closing at $114.96.

In Europe, the Stock 600 was up 0.65%, propped up by miners. Meanwhile, Atlantia SpA (ATASY) , the operator of the bridge that collapsed, was the biggest loser on the index, down 9.46% as the government began a formal process to withdraw its concession to run about half of Italy's highways, after more than 40 people died in last week's tragedy.

London's FTSE 100 was up 0.57%, Germany's DAX gained 1.12% and the CAC 40 was up 0.72% in morning trading.

Asian markets were higher Monday ahead of much-anticipated trade talks between the U.S. and China. A delegation led by China's vice commerce minister, Wang Shouwen, will conduct two days of talks in Washington starting on Wednesday.

Chinese stocks gained ahead of the meeting, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.1%, after falling to a two-year low on Friday as the healthcare sector dragged now the index. The yuan climbed 0.55 to 6.8485 per dollar, its strongest since Aug. 10.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.39%, while Japan's Nikkei and Topix lost 0.32%.


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