Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, May 22:
1. -- Stocks Rise on China Tariff Move
U.S. stock futures pointed higher on Tuesday, May 22, and global stocks rose as investors reacted to a significant move on trade tariffs from China.
China's Finance Ministry said Tuesday that it would slash import tariffs on automobiles into the world's biggest car market in what could be the most significant step by officials in Beijing to placate demands made by Donald Trump to trim the country's multi-billion trade surplus with the U.S. The decision, while expected, comes after Washington and Beijing declared a near-term truce in the brewing dispute over tariffs and access to markets in the world's two biggest economies.
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2. -- Oil Prices Surge
U.S. crude oil futures rose to the highest levels in more than three-and-a-half years on Tuesday, sending gas prices on a faster pace toward $3 a gallon just days before the start of the traditional summer driving season.
Global oil prices have marched higher this year as investors reset expectations for supply from key producers amid threats of U.S. sanctions linked to Iran's alleged violations of a previous nuclear treaty and a disputed presidential election in Venezuela. Collectively, the sanctions could take a further 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude from the market each day, pushing prices even high amid a broader OPEC agreement, first signed in December 2016, that has trimmed output by 1.8 million barrels a day until at least the end of the year.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures for June delivery rose Tuesday to as high as $72.72 a barrel, the highest since November 2014, extending WTI's year-to-date gain to 20.35%. U.S. gasoline prices have reacted in kind, rising from $2.50 a gallon in late February to a national average of $2.94 a gallon, also the highest since November 2014, according to gasbuddy.com.
Brent crude prices for July delivery, the global benchmark, rose 60 cents to $79.82 a barrel.
3. -- Retailers Highlight the Earnings Calendar
With the U.S. economic calendar on Tuesday light, earnings will draw some of Wall Street's attention.
Action Alerts PLUS holding Kohls Corp. (KSS) reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of 64 cents a share, smashing estimates of 50 cents. Revenue in the quarter was $4.21 billion vs. expectations of $3.95 billion. The retailer also raised its full-year guidance. The stock rose 5.4% in premarket trading.
Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) posted fiscal second-quarter profit of 72 cents a share, below estimates of 76 cents. Sales rose to $1.6 billion from $1.36 billion a year earlier and came in above estimates of $1.58 billion. The stock fell 2.6%.
4. -- Micron Jumps on Buyback, Intel Deal
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) shares were rising 5.7% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the chipmaker announced Monday a $10 billion share repurchase program and a deal with Intel Corp. (INTC) to make and ship the next generation of chips used in flash drives and digital cameras.
The company raised its guidance for the current quarter earlier Monday and also got a boost from news that the the prospects of a trade war between the U.S. and China were cooling, which could be good for chip companies' M&A prospects. Micron gained 3.9% on Monday to close at $55.48.
5. -- Sony Buys EMI Music Publishing for $2.3 Billion
Sony Corp. (SNE) said Tuesday it plans to spend $2.3 billion acquiring an additional 60% stake in EMI Music Publishing, boosting its ownership in the publisher to 90%.
Sony will be buying the additional EMI stake from a group of investors led by Mubadala, a government-backed investment fund controlled by the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
EMI's catalog contains more than 2 million songs from music legends such as Frank Sinatra and David Bowie. Its also home to contemporary artists like Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.
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