U.S. Stock Markets

U.S. Stock Markets were set to open lower on Thursday after weak European data and reports of a new North Korean weapons test challenged assumptions that the macro backdrop is changing for the better.


At 06:45 AM ET (1045 GMT), the benchmark S&P 500 futures contract was down 1.6 points, or 0.1%, while the Dow futures contract was down 42 points, or 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures down 5.4 points, or 0.1%.


It’s a heavy day for earnings, with medical group Danaher and Suntrust Banks already reporting revenue and profit slightly ahead of expectations in the three months to March.


Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) are all also due to report before the opening, while ADRs in European consumer giants Nestle (OTC:NSRGY) and Unilever (NYSE:UL) may both catch a bid after the two companies reported stronger-than-expected organic sales growth earlier Thursday.


Image-sharing social media company Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange a day after it raised approximately $1.4 billion in its initial public offering. That was above the top end of its range but still well below the valuation implicit in its last private funding round.


Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM), meanwhile, is also set to make its debut after raising $751 million in an IPO that priced at $36 a share, above the top end of the marketing range.


The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, rose 0.3% to 96.940 after purchasing manager indexes from across the euro zone suggested that the region is taking longer than feared to emerge from the slowdown at the turn of the year.


U.S. crude oil futures were also almost a dollar a barrel off this week’s highs, after pricing in the softer economic data. A modest drop in U.S. crude stocks, reported by the government on Wednesday, gave little justification to add to long positions. Gold futures, meanwhile, hit a new low for 2019 earlier in the day before ticking up fractionally to  $1,277.35 a troy ounce.

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