Here are five things you must know for Thursday, June 21:
1. -- Stocks Take Hit Amid Trade Tussle
U.S. stock futures fell on Thursday, June 21, and global shares were mostly lower as investors continued to eye developments in the U.S.-China trade war.
China warned the U.S. it was ready to respond to recently announced tariffs with "qualitative and quantitative" measures of its own and European Union officials brought forward the date at which their levies on U.S. made goods would kick in.
"It is deeply regrettable that the U.S. has been capricious, escalated the tensions, and provoked a trade war," said China's Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng. "The U.S. is accustomed to holding 'big sticks' for negotiations, but this approach does not apply to China."
China's state-run newspaper, the Global Times, also noted in an editorial Thursday that "if Trump continues to escalate trade tensions with China, we cannot rule out the possibility that China will strike back by adopting a hard-line approach targeting Dow Jones index giants."
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ^DJI fell 69 points, futures for the S&P 500 ^GSPC declined 3.75 points and Nasdaq ^IXIC futures were down 4.75 points.
The U.S. economic calendar on Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for June at 8:30 a.m.
Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) posted fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.39 a share, 4 cents ahead of estimates, as same-store sales rose 2.2%. The owner of Olive Garden said it expects same-restaurant sales in fiscal 2019 to rise 1% to 2%. Shares rose 8.7% in premarket trading.
Kroger Co. (KR) posted quarterly adjusted profit of 73 cents a share, 10 cents higher than estimates.
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2. -- Oil Prices Slide on Reports OPEC Nears Deal
Oil prices fell sharply Thursday amid reports that OPEC members were close to agreeing to a deal that would boost output.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, said global consumers were demanding more crude supply and that he was confident a deal could be struck that would satisfy all stakeholders at a meeting Friday, June 22, of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. and said global markets were "re-balanced" even as he conceded that the cartel's mission wasn't yet accomplished.
Al-Falih made his comments as cartel members, along with Russia, were reportedly prepping a production increase to offset the loss of supply from crisis-hit Venezuela while lessening the impact of recently imposed U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude.
Futures for Brent crude, the global benchmark, tumbled 1.5% to $73.60 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, fell 1.4% to $64.77 a barrel.
3. -- Micron Sales Rise 40%
On a conference call following the release of the earnings, Chief Financial Officer Dave Zinsner said Micron expects fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.23 to $3.37 a share on revenue of $8 billion to $8.4 billion. Both estimates were higher than analysts' forecasts.
Third-quarter DRAM revenue (71% of total revenue) rose 56% from a year earlier and was better than expected, while "trade NAND" flash memory revenue (25% of revenue) rose 14% and was roughly in-line with expectations.
The stock rose 5% in premarket trading on Thursday.
4. - Daimler Issues Surprise Profit Warning
Daimler said fewer-than-expected Mercedes SUV sales, as well as higher costs that can't be passed on to customers, need to be factored into its new 2018 earnings projections "because of increased import tariffs for U.S. vehicles into the Chinese market." Daimler said it now sees full-year group earnings "slightly below" 2017 levels and full-year Mercedes-Benz vans earnings that were "significantly" lower.
Shares of Daimler were falling 4% in Frankfurt.
5. -- Sales Tumble at Gun Maker American Outdoor Brands
Shares of American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC) , the parent of gun maker Smith & Wesson, fell 2.9% in premarket trading on Thursday after reporting that sales plunged 25% in its fiscal fourth quarter and slumped 33% for the full year.
Sales in the quarter were $172 million, down from $229.2 million a year earlier. Sales for the fiscal year were $606.9 million vs. year-earlier sales of $903.2 million.
Adjusted earnings, however, came in higher than expected with the company posting a profit of 24 cents a share vs. estimates of 10 cents.Expert Advice for a Risky Market. We asked top experts from Bank of America, Fisher Investments, Invesco and Wells Fargo what smart investors should do right now. Click here and register for free to watch what these market watchers recommend.