Home Stocks U.S. Stocks Set for Anemic Open, With GDP Data in Focus – The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Stocks Set for Anemic Open, With GDP Data in Focus – The Wall Street Journal

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U.S. stocks were set to open slightly lower Friday as investors awaited fresh data on growth.

Futures pointed to opening losses on Wall Street of 0.1% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.1%. In Asia, the Shanghai Stock Exchange was down 1.2%, Korea’s benchmark Kospi index dropped 0.5% and Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.2%.

An electronic ticker displays share prices at Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange.


Photo:

Keith Bedford/Bloomberg News

Following 2019’s rally in stock markets, rooted in a shift toward accommodative policy by the Federal Reserve and optimism around U.S.-China trade talks, investors were searching for fresh signals on global growth and earnings in the months ahead.

“What the market is looking for in the next couple of weeks as we get through earnings is just: How does it look and what is the guidance we are getting, even more importantly, from CEOs,” said Jason Sippel, head of global equities at

J.P. Morgan
,

adding that markets could turn negative if economic figures out of the U.S. begin to dip.

“Sentiment is still very fragile because of the technical dislocations we had in the fourth quarter last year,” he added.

Analysts are grappling with mixed news this week from the U.S. technology giants that drove last year’s run-up in equity markets. On Thursday,

Amazon.com

posted its best quarterly profits on record but pointed to higher costs ahead as it changes its shipping policies. Plus, Uber reduced its target valuation for its initial public offering, after rival Lyft has seen its stock dip since its listing last month.

Analysts were anticipating U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product data from the Commerce Department later Friday, amid continued questions around how long the world’s largest economy will continue to expand and when the effects of President Trump’s tax revamp will begin to fade.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate GDP grew at a 2.5% annual rate in the quarter, which would mark the economy’s strongest performance in the January-to-March period since the first quarter of 2015.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury ticked down to 2.525% from 2.536% Thursday. Yields move inversely to prices. The yield on 10-year German government bonds remained in negative territory at -0.015%.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, dipped slightly, having reached its highest level in almost two years earlier this week with knock-on effects on currencies with debts denominated in dollars.

Analysts at

Deutsche Bank

say negative sentiment around emerging markets dragged Asian indexes lower Friday.

Fresh concerns around inflation and external financing requirements in Turkey and Argentina sparked a selloff in the countries’ currencies this week. Dedicated emerging-market bond funds recorded their first week of outflows since mid-February in the week to April 24, according to

Barclays

data.

In commodities, global benchmark Brent crude oil fell 2.1% to $72.08 a barrel, having climbed Thursday when transport of crude through a key Russian pipeline was temporarily suspended.

Write to Avantika Chilkoti at Avantika.Chilkoti@wsj.com

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