The Thursday Market Minute

  • Global stocks retreat following four consecutive record-setting session on Wall Street as investors worry NAFTA focus puts China trade deal on ice.
  • China stocks slip, pulling Asia shares into the red, as markets brace for fresh tariffs on $200 billion worth of U.S. exports.
  • European stocks open weaker amid lingering concerns over banks exposure to Turkey; Pound pops past 1.3 against the dollar on positive Brexit talk.
  • Oil extends gains following big decline in U.S. crude stocks, looming sanctions on the sale of Iranian crude
  • U.S. equity futures suggest S&P 500 could hold past 2,900 barrier even as markets pause from recent record-setting rally.

Market Snapshot

Global stocks to a step back Thursday, with markets retreating after four consecutive record-setting sessions on Wall Street, amid concerns that the White House's focus on trade talks with its North American partners would push a potential deal with China further into the future.

With Canada back at the negotiating table this week ahead of a Friday deadline set by President Donald Trump to reach an agreement that would overhaul the current arrangement with the three north American economies, investors are concerned that the U.S. focus on both a NAFTA deal and the impending mid-term elections will put the stall trade talks with China further down on the President's agenda. 

China's economy is also showing signs of weakness, with the state-controlled commission tasked with planning long-term growth warning earlier this week that a "greater effort" will be needed to meet its targets as the world's second-largest economy prepares for a new round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods to kick-in next month.

China stocks were weaker across the board Thursday, with the Shanghai Composite falling more than 1% into the close of trading while the bluechip CSI 300 index slipped 0.92%. The moves pulled the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, the region's broadest measure of share prices, 0.41% into the red as the session drew to a close, although Japan's Nikkei 225 managed to claw itself into a 0.09% gain to book its eighth consecutive dailu advance. 

European stocks were weaker at the open, as well, with lingering concerns over the banking sector's exposure to Turkey, where the lira has resumed its slide against the U.S. dollar following a major downgrade for its domestic lenders from Moody's Investors Service, holding down gains across the region. The Stoxx Europe 600, the regional benchmark, slipped 0.32% to 385.36 points by mid-day of trading as bourses in Germany and France followed with modestly larger percentage declines.

Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.64% after the pound rallied to a three-and-a-half week high of 1.3033 against the U.S. dollar following comments from Michel Barnier, the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, that suggested the U.K. could be offered "a partnership such as there never has been with any other third country."

Wall Street futures were modesty weaker, as well, following last night's record-setting session -- the fourth in a row -- that saw the S&P 500 I:GSPC close at an all-time high of 2,914.04 points, Apple Inc. hit a fresh record of $222.98 and Amazon Inc. (AMZN) - Get Report come within $25 million of closing at a market value of $1 trillion after a big price upgrade from Morgan Stanley. 

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average I:DJI suggest a 63 point pullback while those linked to the S&P 500 are indicating a 5.2 point slide for the broader benchmark, while the Nasdaq Composite I:IXIC is slated to fall around 13.2 points at the opening bell. 

Salesforce Inc. (CRM) - Get Report shares were indicated lower in pre-market trading Thursday after the business software market posted stronger-than-expected earnings for the three months ending in July but issued a tepid forecast for current quarter earnings, as its boosts spending in order to maintain it market share over rivals such as Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) - Get Report and Oracle Inc. (ORCL) - Get Report .

Salesforce is Real Money's 'Stock of the Day' today.

Action Alerts Plus holding Salesforce shares were marked 3.58% lower from their Wednesday close in pre-market trading, indicating an opening bell price of $149.26 each, a move that would still leave it with a year-to-date gain of around 46%.

Global oil prices added to last night's gains, which saw a $1 spike in WTI crude futures following data from the Energy Information Administration which showed that domestic crude stocks fell by a much larger-than-expected 2.57 million barrels last week and Brent rise on anticipation of U.S. sanctions on the sale of Iranian crude, which are set to kick-in in November.

Brent crude contracts for November delivery were seen 52 cents higher from their Wednesday close in New York and changing hands at $77.98 per barrel in early European trading while WTI contracts for October delivery, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were marked 40 cents higher at $69.91.