Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Oct. 10:
1. -- Stock Futures Slip as High-Level U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume
U.S. stock futures slipped Thursday as Wall Street braced for what could be make-or-break trade talks between the U.S. and China.
The talks Thursday, which are scheduled to include China's Vice Premier Liu Hie, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, are the first high-level meetings between the two sides since the G-20 summit in late June. The talks in Washington likely could be the last chance for significant progress to be made on a trade pact between the world's two biggest economies prior to next year's presidential elections.
Donald Trump repeated his view Wednesday - expressed on scores of occasions in the past - that China "wants a deal more than we do." But with impeachment proceedings accelerating in the United States, and allies abroad ramping up pressure owing to Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, China may not be as inclined to offer concessions as it was earlier this year.
Tariff threats loom, however, if the talks break down, with increased levies on $250 billion of China-made goods set to kick in next week, and an additional tariff of 15% on $300 billion worth of goods, which effectively would mean all China imports are subject to extra costs, set for mid-December.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 32 points, futures for the S&P 500 fell 1.90 points, and Nasdaq futures fell 4 points.
Stocks finished higher Wednesday but pared some gains late in the session after a report said Chinese officials had lowered their expectations for the trade talks.
The Dow rose 181 points, or 0.7%, to 26,346, the S&P 500 gained 0.91% and the Nasdaq rose 1.02%.
2. -- Consumer Price Index, Delta Earnings Are Highlights of Thursday's Calendar
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes the Consumer Price Index for September at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect CPI to rise 0.1% in September from August. The core rate, which excludes food and energy costs, is forecast to rise 0.2%, down from 0.3% in August. Year over year, core CPI is expected to remain at 2.4%.
The calendar also includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report posted third-quarter adjusted earnings of $2.32 a share, 6 cents higher than analysts' estimates. Revenue of $12.56 billion rose from a year earlier but was shy of forecasts. The stock fell 1.43% in premarket trading to $53.15.
3. -- Bed Bath & Beyond Lands Target Executive as New CEO
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) - Get Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Report spiked 22.74% in premarket trading Thursday to $12.20 after the home goods retailer named Mark Tritton from Target (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report as its new president and CEO.
Tritton served as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target, and has been credited for launching Target's private label development, which included more than 30 new brands in just two-and-a-half years, and helped the retailer grow comparable-store sales for eight consecutive quarters. He also served in roles at Nordstrom, Timberland and Nike.
"There is immense opportunity ahead for Bed Bath & Beyond, which remains one of the most recognizable and best loved retailers in the country today," Tritton said. "The foundation of the company's transformation has been set and I'm excited at the chance to apply my industry experience and expertise to build an even better business for customers, associates, and shareholders."
"Mark's ability to re-define the retail experience and drive growth at some of the world's most successful retailers and brands makes him uniquely equipped to lead Bed Bath & Beyond during this critical time in our evolution," said Chairman Patrick Gaston. "As an integral contributor to Target's impressive transformation, we will benefit from his vision, leadership, and creativity to successfully transform our business."
Tritton succeeds interim CEO Mary Winston, who has served in the top position since May and will remain on the board.
Bed Bath & Beyond has been caught up in the many challenges facing brick-and-mortar retailers with ever-growing competition from online rivals like Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report . Its shares have fallen more than 80% since peaking above $80 six years ago.
Activists also had been pushing for change at the retailer.
Just last week, Bed Bath & Beyond said it would close 60 stores by the end of the year, higher than previous estimates of 40 store closings.
Target, meanwhile, announced Wednesday it named Michael Fiddelke as chief financial officer.
4. -- Apple Removes App That Tracked Movements of Police in Hong Kong
Apple said the app violated its rules.
The tech giant said the app, HKmap.live, had "been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents."
"The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement," the statement said.
The main newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party criticized Apple on Wednesday for the smartphone app.
HKmap.live, designed by an outside supplier and available on Apple's online store, "facilitates illegal behavior," People's Daily said in a commentary.
"Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?" the newspaper said.
5. -- Fidelity Follows Schwab by Eliminating Online Trading Commissions
Fidelity had charged $4.95 for trades made online but beginning Thursday eliminated the costs for online trades of U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds and options.
"With this decision, Fidelity is taking a different path," said Kathleen Murphy, Fidelity's president of personal investing. "We are providing customers unmatched value while challenging industry practices that appear to give value in one place when they are actually having customers pay in other ways."
The move by Fidelity, which has nearly 22 million online brokerage accounts, wasn't a surprise.
"Free will soon become the expectation for online stock and ETF trades," said Jennifer Butler, director of research at Corporate Insight. "Those that don't go to zero could be putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage."