Friday, January 17, 2020 – U.S. futures are pointing to a higher open Friday, as signs of a stabilizing Chinese economy extends the perceived “risk-on” sentiment. A report out of Beijing showed China’s economy grew at 6.1% in 2019, which was in-line with economist expectations, and industrial production surprised on the upside. The encouraging data release comes days after the U.S. and China officially signed the “phase one” trade pact. The Dow and S&P 500 are both advancing 0.3% in pre-market trading. The Nasdaq 100 is trading 0.4% above fair value on the GLOBEX. The early gains look to extend yesterday’s upbeat session on Wall Street, in which all three major averages closed at record levels.
On the domestic data front, a report showed housing starts surged 16.9% in December, while building permits declined 3.9% in the same period. Industrial production for December and the University of Michigan preliminary reading of consumer sentiment for January will round out today’s docket. Treasuries are weakening, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note up three basis points to 1.83%.
In earnings, CSX Corp is down 2.9% after reporting a larger-than-anticipated drop in freight volume in the most recent quarter. Trucking company JB Hunt is losing 4.8% after disappointing analysts’ earnings and revenue projections. Schlumberger is adding 2.8% after beating top and bottom line expectations despite challenging market conditions.
Overseas, China’s Shanghai Composite added less than 0.1%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5%. Across the pond, the Euro STOXX 600 is advancing 0.9% to new record highs, while U.K.’s FTSE 100 is up 1.0% near midday.
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