Skip to main content

The Wednesday Market Minute

  • Wall Street futures suggest modest gains in cautious Wednesday trading as Brexit uncertainty continues to cast a pall over global financial markets.
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May will bring yet another make-or-break vote to parliament later today as lawmakers look to vote down the risk of a "no deal" Brexit.
  • Boeing shares look to extend their biggest two-day decline in a decade Wednesday as Hong Kong joins the ever-expanding list of authorities who have grounded the planemaker's 737 MAX 8.
  • Global oil prices extend gains, holding WTI crude near three-month highs, as OPEC cuts and US  sanctions continue to support markets.
  • Dow called 10 points higher as Boeing takes another 44 points from the average ahead of capital goods and wholesale inflation data at 8:30 am Eastern Time.

Market Snapshot

U.S. equity futures traded flat Wednesday, following on from modest declines for major benchmarks around the world, as the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union clipped risk appetite and offset investor optimism for a near-term U.S.-China trade deal.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will bring yet another make-or-break vote to lawmakers later today in London, after suffering a second rejection for her Brexit deal last night, as the shambolic Parliamentary debate staggers into the final weeks ahead of Britain's March 29 departure deadline.

The lack of clarity with respect to the future relationship between the world's fifth largest economy and its biggest trading partner was more than enough to cast a pall over risk sentiment, with markets in Asia recording declines across the board and gold rising to a two-week high and jumping past the $1,300 mark.

However, optimistic comments from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who told a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday that trade talks between Washington and Beijing were in their "final weeks", as well as softer-than-expected inflation data and a determinedly dovish Federal Reserve, have supported U.S. stocks for much of the week.

TheStreet Recommends

Equity futures suggest that may continue today, with modest gains priced into both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, although the former is likely to be held in check for a third consecutive session by weakness in Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report , which looks to extend its biggest two-day decline in a decade Wednesday as more world aviation authorities move to ground its 737 MAX 8 jet following Sunday's fatal crash in Ethiopia.

Boeing shares were marked 1.77% lower in pre-market trading Wednesday, indicating an opening bell price of $368.60 each, extending BA's largest two-day percentage decline since June 2009.

Away from equities, the U.S. dollar index drifted modestly lower in overnight trading as both the euro and the pound held onto early-week gains following stronger-than-expected industrial production data from the block Wednesday and bets that UK lawmakers will vote down the prospect of a "no-deal" Brexit later today in London.

Global oil prices extended gains, however, thanks in part to a weaker dollar and ongoing OPEC production cuts, which are likely to extend well into the second half of the year, according to recent comments from Saudi Arabia's energy minister.

Continued US sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela are also clipping global supply chains, although the Energy Information Administration's forecast that domestic production will average 12.3 million barrels a day this year has somewhat offset that impact in global markets.

Brent crude contracts for May delivery, the global benchmark, were marked 47 cents higher from their Tuesday close and changing hands at $67.17 per barrel while WTI contracts for April were seen 55 cents higher at $57.42 per barrel.