Wednesday April 12th

12-04-2017

Wall Street set to open cautiously lower ahead of Tillerson’s meeting with Russia

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wednesday morning as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. They are expected to discuss Ukraine, counterterrorism and a Russia's continued support for Syria's Bashar Assad. Investors were also trying to get a sense of the Trump administration's priorities. President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox Business on Wednesday he wants to tackle health care reform before implementing new tax policy. "I have to do healthcare first, I want to do it first to really do it right," Trump said. Stocks rallied after Trump was elected in part because of the prospects of lower taxes, deregulation and fiscal policy. On the data front, import prices posted their biggest drop in seven months in March, falling 0.2 percent. Export prices, meanwhile, gained 0.2 percent last month. On the earnings front, Delta Airlines rose after the company posted quarterly results. Davids Tea and Pier 1 Imports are due to report after the market close. Earnings season will kick into full gear Thursday, with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo slated to report. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.21 percent higher on Tuesday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.46 percent lower, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 1.04 percent lower. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $56.48 a barrel on Tuesday, up 0.44 percent, while U.S. crude was around $53.60 a barrel, up 0.37 percent. Gold climbed to a 5-month high on Wednesday, extending its nearly 2 percent gains from the previous session, as investors shifted to safe-haven assets with tensions rising over the United States' relations with North Korea and Russia. Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,274 per ounce by 0716 GMT after hitting its strongest since Nov. 10 at 1,279.80 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,276.