Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • Futures point to a positive open for U.S. markets with the Dow expected to add 77 points. 
  • Earnings from the U.S.'s big banks kick off Friday with  Action Alerts PLUS holding JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)  and Citigroup Inc. (C)
  • European markets were up with France's Cac 40 and Germany's Dax gaining and London's FTSE 100 on the back foot as the pound edged higher. 

Markets Overview

U.S. futures advanced Friday, April 13, as worries over trade eased after President Donald Trump tweeted about the possibility of rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal.

At 7:05 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was expected to add 85 points when markets open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were pointing to a an 8 and 17 point increase respectively.

Stocks rose Thursday, April 12, after sentiment improved following a tweet from President Donald Trump that said a missile strike in Syria wasn't imminent. The Dow finished up 293 points, or 1.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.83% and the Nasdaq was up 1.01%, boosted by positive earnings at the start of the season.

Investors will be looking out for earnings from big U.S. banks led by Action Alerts PLUS holdings JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) on Friday. Shares in the bank were 0.56% up in premarket trading after the bank reported first quarter earnings of $2.37 per share, ahead of expectations for $2.28 EPS. The bank reported revenue of $28.52 billion, with a 7% increase in markets revenue, helped by 25% growth in stock trading but unchanged sales from fixed income markets.

Citigroup Inc. (C) , shares were up 0.53% in premarket trading, and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) gained 1.02% in premarket before the bank released its earnings. 

Big U.S. banks could report an average 28% gain in earnings per sharefor the first quarter, driven by stronger stock-trading revenue and the recently enacted U.S. tax cuts, according to analysts at the brokerage firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) shares were down 0.66% in premarket. President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order setting up a task force looking into the United States Postal Service. Amazon wasn't directly mentioned in the order. But Trump has criticized the online retailer's deal with USPS, saying in a series of tweets that the company doesn't pay its share of postage and that the postal service loses money in the arrangement.

European markets were up on Friday with London's FTSE 100 was marginally gaining, rising 0.062% to 7,262, as the pound rallied to its highest point since January. Germany's Dax was up 0.72% to 12,504 and France's Cac 40 gained 0.41% to 5,331.

Volkswagen AG (VLKAY)  shares were up as much as 1.7% after the German carmaker reshuffled its top management, naming former BMW AG (BMWYY) executive Herbert Diess as CEO, replacing Matthias Mueller, in the company's biggest management change since the diesel emissions scandal in 2015.

Rolls-Royce Holding plc (RYCEY) dropped 1.35% in London, changing hands at 869.6 pence, after it said the costs connected with problems with its Trent 1000 engines, which power Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, were higher than previously expected. The engine maker said it would carry out additional inspections and testing on the engines which would lead to more disruption for customers.

The London Stock Exchange Group plc (LNSTY) shares were up 0.12% after the company appointed Goldman Sachs investment banker David Schwimmer as its new CEO to succeed Xavier Rolet who left the group abruptly last year. The exchange group was under pressure from activist investor TCI Fund Management, which is still one of its biggest shareholders.

Asia stocks finished the day mostly higher, with Japan's Nikkei up 0.55% and the Topix gaining 0.63%. The move higher came after President Trump tweeted that he had told officials to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal.

Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama. We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat and China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.71%.

Oil prices edged higher on Friday, with West Texas Intermediate up 0.46% to $67.38 a barrel and Brent Crude gaining 0.36% to $72.28 a barrel amid worries of an attack on Syria.  The International Energy Agency said that it is not clear whether the heightened tensions can support the rally. 

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