Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Aug. 29:
1. -- Stock Futures Jump as China Says It Won't Immediately Retaliate to New Tariffs
U.S. stock futures jumped Thursday after China indicated it wouldn't immediately retaliate against the latest tariff increase on China-made goods announced by Donald Trump last week.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 272 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 29 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 100.50 points.
"China has ample means for retaliation, but thinks the question that should be discussed now is about removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation of the trade war," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing, Bloomberg reported. "China is lodging solemn representations with the U.S. on the matter."
Trump announced last week that tariffs to be imposed on Sept. 1 on $300 billion in goods imported from China would now be 15%, up from 10%. In addition, tariffs on $250 billion in goods that have been at 25% will rise to 30% on Oct. 1. The president responded to China's announcement it would impose up tariffs on more than 5,000 U.S. products, including soybeans and petroleum, worth a combined $75 billion.
"Escalation of the trade war won't benefit China, nor the U.S., nor the world," Gao said. "The most important thing is to create the necessary conditions for continuing negotiations."
China has retaliated against each previous tariff increase by the U.S., so not responding this time may signal a change in strategy, Bloomberg noted.
Gao said China and the U.S., the world's two largest economies, were discussing the previously announced trip in September by Chinese negotiators to Washington, Bloomberg reported.
U.S. stocks ended higher Wednesday as energy stocks led markets out of early session declines and helped investors look past signs from the bond market that pointed to a possible recession. The Dow rose 258 points, or 1%, to 26,036, the S&P 500 advanced 0.65%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.38%.
2. -- GDP, Earnings From Dollar General and Dollar Tree Lead Thursday's Calendar
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes the second estimate of second-quarter Gross Domestic Product at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect GDP to have risen 2.1%, the same as the first estimate. GDP, the broadest gauge of economic activity, was 3.1% in the first quarter.
The calendar also includes International Trade in Goods for July at 8:30 a.m., weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m., and the Pending Home Sales Index for July at 10 a.m.
Burlington Stores (BURL - Get Report) reported second-quarter adjusted earnings above guidance and raised its fiscal-year adjusted earnings outlook to $7.14 to $7.22 a share, up from previous guidance of $6.93 to $7.01 a share.
Earnings reports are also expected Thursday from Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Get Report) , Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) , Dell Technologies (DELL) , Dollar Tree (DLTR - Get Report) , Ulta Beauty (ULTA - Get Report) , Hain Celestial Group (HAIN - Get Report) , Marvell Technology (MRVL - Get Report) and Workday (WDAY - Get Report) .
3. -- Okta Slips on Weak Third-Quarter Earnings Guidance
Okta posted an adjusted loss of 5 cents a share, narrower than analysts' estimates of 11 cents, on a revenue increase of 49% to $140.5 million
For the third quarter, the company expects to post an adjusted loss of 12 cents to 13 cents a share on revenue of between $143 million and $144 million. Analysts had been expecting the company to report a loss of 9 cents a share on revenue of $140.53 million.
"The recent recognition we received from notable industry research providers further validates our view that Okta has become the identity standard for organizations worldwide ranging from fast-growing businesses to the world's largest organizations," CEO Todd McKinnon said.
Okta said it expects a fiscal-year non-GAAP loss of between 42 cents to 44 cents a share on revenue between $560 million and $563 million. Wall Street expects the company to report a loss of 46 cents a share on revenue of $549 million.
The stock fell 1.27% to $131.48 in premarket trading.
4. -- Apple to Begin Online Sales in India
The tech giant will sell from its online store after the government of India allowed foreign single brand companies to sell directly via webstores, whether or not the companies had brick-and-mortar locations, the Economic Times reported.
Apple's webstore likely will begin operating over the next three to five months since it involves Apple duplicating its global online store template for the Indian market, said executives who were aware of Apple's plans, the report said.
Apple now only has a small presence in India, chiefly because of India's foreign direct investment rules, which required companies to source 30% of their production locally in order to establish a retail presence in the nation, according to Engadget. Many Indians who use Apple products either buy them from third-party sellers or abroad.
Apple announced plans to open retail outlets in Mumbai, the company's first retail presence in India, earlier this year.
5. -- Tesla Launches Insurance Plan
Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) announced the launch its own insurance business - Tesla Insurance - with a promise that it can provide Tesla owners with rates up to 30% lower than other insurance companies.
The electric vehicle maker said the pricing reflects Tesla's intimate knowledge of its own vehicles as well as the vehicle's active safety and advanced driver assistance features that come standard with all new vehicles.
The insurance being offered by Tesla has been in the works for some time. CEO Elon Musk revealed in the company's first-quarter earnings call in April that Tesla was developing an insurance product, claiming it would be "much more compelling than anything else out there."
Tesla's insurance first will be available in California, and will "expand to additional U.S. states in the future," the company said.
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