Stocks set for flat open as Wall Street looks to US-Canada trade talks


Officials from the U.S. and Canada worked late into the night on Wednesday, as both sides sought to secure a new trade agreement to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pact, a deal they failed to secure by last Friday’s initial deadline. These extended talks are likely to continue in the coming days, and could potentially last weeks.

Meantime, the relationship between China and the States remains tense. Markets remain in wait-and-see mode after a report from Bloomberg last week revealed that the U.S. administration was on standby to inflict additional levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as soon as this week. China’s commerce ministry stated Thursday that Beijing would retaliate if Washington was to inflict new tariffs, Reuters reported. The deadline for the tariffs to go into effect is at midnight.

The major stock indexes fell on Wednesday as Netflix led a broad tech sell-off. Netflix shares dropped 6.2 percent in the previous session, but bounced back 1.4 percent in the premarket Thursday. Emerging-market shares also fell sharply on Wednesday but climbed 0.3 percent before the bell Thursday.

Economic data coming out Thursday includes ADP National Employment Report at 8:15 a.m. ET; jobless claims, labor productivity and costs at 8:30 a.m. ET; services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data at 9:45 a.m. ET; and ISM non-manufacturing data and factory orders at 10 a.m. ET.

In the corporate space, Dell Technologies, Barnes & Noble, Lands’ End, Broadcom, Domo, Five Below and Okta are all expected to publish their latest earnings reports.


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