Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, April 24:
1. Boeing, Caterpillar , Facebook lead earnings parade
A whopping 42 companies out of the S&P 500 are set to release their numbers on Wednesday.
Ahead of the open, AT&T (NYSE:T) will be under the magnifying glass after Verizon (NYSE:VZ) reported mixed results on Tuesday, while investors digest details of how HBO plans to face off against Disney’s new streaming service.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) (NYSE:BA) also releases quarterly numbers with attention on the status of its grounded 737 MAX jetliner.
Fellow industrial bellwether Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) will also provide insight into the state of the global economy.
The pace won’t slow at the market close as the focus shifts to numbers from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Visa (NYSE:V). Analysts will be on the watch for the social media company’s user engagement and the progress with the computer giant’s cloud business, while Visa may offer a glimpse into the current state of credit in the world’s largest economy.
Read more: After Rough 2018, Facebook’s Q1 Earnings May Prove Its Bulls Were Right - Haris Anwar
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fans and short-sellers will be set for the ongoing debate with the company expected to swing back to a loss after two consecutive quarters of profit.
2. Wall Street pauses near record highs
After earnings sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record highs a day earlier, U.S. futures pointed to a more cautious open on Wednesday after signs that China is easing up on its monetary stimulus and after another disappointing German business confidence survey.
At 5:21 AM ET (9:21 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures had gained 4 points, S&P 500 futures had slipped 1 point, while the Nasdaq 100 futures declined 7 points. None had fallen by more than 0.1%.
The S&P 500 managed to erase all the steep losses it saw in late 2018 by ending Tuesday above the previous record reached on Sept. 20. It closed just 0.3% below its intra-day record high of 2,940.91 hit on Sept. 21.
With the Federal Reserve signalling it's still in neutral gear, earnings will be the main factor determining whether the index hits news highs ahead of Friday’s reading on economic growth in the first quarter.
3. Oil breaks winning streak on surge in U.S. inventories
Oil prices broke a two-day winning streak on Wednesday as a larger-than-expected surge in U.S. crude stockpiles prompted profit-taking near six-month highs.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), a watchdog for oil consuming countries, also said Tuesday that markets are "adequately supplied" and that "global spare production capacity remains at comfortable levels."
That eased concerns about market tightness after Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih told a conference his country won't immediately increase oil output to offset the impact of fresh U.S. action against Iran. The U.S. said on Monday it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries halt oil imports from Tehran from May or face punitive action.
At 5:24 AM ET (9:24 GMT), U.S. crude oil futures were down 36 cents, or 0.6%, to $65.94, while Brent oil was down 21 cents, or 0.3%, at $74.30.
The American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday that crude stockpiles surged by 6.9 million barrels last week. Official government data from the Energy Information Administration will be released at 10:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT), amid expectations for a build of just 1.26 million barrels.
West Texas Intermediate oil was still on track for gains of 3% this week.
4. BoC set to stand pat on rates
The Bank of Canada will announce the results of its latest monetary policy meeting at 10:00 AM (14:00 GMT) Wednesday and is expected to keep interest rates on hold.
The Bank of Japan and Turkey’s central bank are both expected to follow suit with no changes expected on Thursday.
The three monetary policy announcements come ahead of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England meetings next week.
The Fed, which was the first of the major central banks to begin policy tightening, shifted gears this year with a pledge to be “patient”. In fact, markets currently price in more than a 50% chance that Powell and team will cut rates by the end of the year, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
5. U.S.-China trade talks to resume next week, target draft agreement
High-level trade talks between the world’s two largest economies are set to resume next week in Beijing with the intention to draft an agreement before June.
U.S. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated late Tuesday that Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on April 30 in Beijing.
Liu will then reciprocate by travelling to Washington for more talks on May 8.
“The subject of next week’s discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement,” Sanders said in a statement.
The two sides are seeking to have a draft agreement by the end of May, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.