Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, May 29:
1. -- Stock Futures Slump as China Hints at a Rare Earths Ban
U.S. stock futures declined on Wednesday as China hit back at the U.S. in their increasingly damaging trade war.
The tech sector remains the focal point of the months-long trade battle between Washington and Beijing, and moves by lawyers representing China's Huawei Technologies to challenge a ban on agencies of the U.S. government from using its equipment suggested China was prepared to wage a least a portion of the trade war on the very same turf.
Further pressure came in the form of two strongly worded editorials in state-controlled newspapers that suggested China should ban the export of so-called rare earth elements, which are 17 crucial pieces of metals and materials used in everything from military satellites to smartphones to electric car batteries.
"Will rare earths become a counter weapon for China to hit back against the pressure the United States has put on for no reason at all? The answer is no mystery," wrote the People's Daily, adding a tagline -- "don't say we didn't warn you" -- that normally is reserved for military conflict.
- China Ready To Exploit 'Uncomfortable' U.S. Reliance on Rare Earth Elements
- How a Chinese Restriction on 'Rare Earths' Could Threaten Apple
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 160 points, futures for the S&P 500 fell 16.85 points, and Nasdaq futures were down 61.75 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for May at 10 a.m. ET.
2. -- Palo Alto Networks, Dick's Sporting Goods Report Earnings
Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Get Report) , Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS - Get Report) , Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Get Report) and PVH Corp. (PVH - Get Report) .
3. -- Boeing's 737 MAX May Not Return to Service Until August - IATA
"We do not expect something before 10 to 12 weeks in re-entry into service," said Alexandre de Juniac, the director general of the IATA. "But it is not our hands. That is in the hands of regulators."
The IATA plans a meeting with Boeing executives, national regulators and airline operators sometime in the next five to seven weeks to discuss what is needed to return the workhorse aircraft back into commercial service.
The acting head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Daniel Elwell, last week said he couldn't predict when Boeing's grounded 737 MAX jets would be flying again.
Elwell said the process of approving a proposed software fix for the aircraft remains open-ended and subject to various factors, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The 737 MAX was grounded after a crash in Ethiopia in March, the second deadly crash in five months.
4. -- Qualcomm Asks Antitrust Ruling to Be Put on Hold
Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) asked a federal judge not to enforce her antitrust ruling against the chipmaker as it plans to file an appeal that could take more than a year to wind through the courts, Reuters reported.
Qualcomm said in a federal court filing in San Jose that it believes it can succeed in appealing the decision last week by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in an antitrust case brought by the Federal Trade Commission. The company hasn't yet filed the appeal, Reuters said, adding that the filing from Qualcomm on Tuesday only concerns whether the ruling's provisions will be put on hold temporarily as it plays out.
Judge Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California supported the FTC's view that Qualcomm abused its market dominance in the market for semiconductors that connect modems and smartphones, where licenses earn the San Diego-based company around $5 billion a year. The judge, who presided over an 11-day trial that ended in late January, ruled that Qualcomm can't base the supply of modem chips on a customer's patent license status and must re-negotiate those terms in good faith.