Updated from 7:45 a.m. ET, Monday, Aug. 14.
Stock futures were higher on Monday, Aug. 14, as investors looked beyond North Korea and found their appetite for riskier assets again.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.47%, S&P 500 futures gained 0.57% and Nasdaq futures added 0.6%.
Last week, tensions escalated between North Korea and the U.S. after President Donald Trump warned of "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continued to issue threats. North Korea then said it was assessing a potential missile attack on U.S. territory Guam.
Markets reacted poorly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a nine-day stretch of record closes, while the S&P 500 had its worst weekly loss since March 24. European indexes also sold off.
Pentagon's top military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, backs a diplomatic solution to the standoff.
"As a military leader, I have to make sure that the president does have viable military options in the event that the diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign fails," said Dunford. "Even as we develop those options, we are mindful of the consequences of executing those options, and that makes us have more of a sense of urgency to make sure that we're doing everything we absolutely can to support Secretary [Rex] Tillerson's current path."
On Friday evening, Trump announced a planned press conference for Monday afternoon, though it is unclear whether North Korea will be discussed. Geopolitical tensions could pressure markets further in the coming week if Trump's rhetoric continues to intensify as it has so far. On Friday morning, he tweeted that the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" in case of "unwise" actions by North Korea.
"That's what investors like the least," Bodhi Ganguli, lead economist at Dun & Bradstreet, told TheStreet. "Uncertainty of a kind that you cannot actually predict anything out of it at all."
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday is bare but otherwise it's a busy week on the economic calendar. Retail sales for July are released Tuesday and should give an indication of how consumers are spending in the first month of the third quarter. Economists surveyed by FactSet anticipate sales will increase 0.4% in July, reversing a 0.2% decline in June.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey and the housing market index for August, import and export prices for July, and business inventories for June will also be released on Tuesday; housing starts for July, and the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from its late July meeting on Wednesday; the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for August, and industrial production for July on Thursday; and a preliminary read on consumer sentiment for August on Friday.
VF Corp. (VFC - Get Report) was on watch after announcing it will acquire workwear brand Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. in an all-cash deal worth $820 million. The latest acquisition, which houses brands such as Dickies, will fit comfortably with other VF labels such as The North Face and Wrangler. VF Corp. also raised its full-year guidance to $2.96 a share in profit on revenue of $11.85 billion. The company previously target $2.94 a share on $11.65 billion.
JD.com (JD - Get Report) moved lower in premarket trading despite a better-than-expected quarter on its top- and bottom-line. Earnings of 10 cents a share beat estimates by 2 cents. Revenue surged 41.6% to $13.75 billion, coming in higher than consensus by $450 million.
Canadian Solar (CSIQ - Get Report) also exceeded analysts' estimates. A net loss of 15 cents a share was a penny narrower than expected. Revenue declined by 14.1% to $692.37 million, but topped expectations by $70 million.
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG - Get Report) was slightly higher in premarket trading after calling on shareholders to back up its board directors at an upcoming annual meeting and to root against a board seat pushed by activist investor Nelson Peltz.
"You are being asked to choose between a Board and management team that are successfully executing a proven plan to build a better and more valuable company and Mr. Peltz, who has not offered any new, actionable ideas to deliver value beyond the plan that we already have in place," the company wrote in a letter.
Procter & Gamble said Peltz was pushing for a board seat to "satisfy his own agenda" and that the company would not benefit from "change for the sake of change." Shareholders will cast their vote at the annual meeting on Oct. 10.
Crude oil prices were lower on Monday morning on concerns over weaker demand in China and growing production in the U.S. The National Bureau of Statistics showed that Chinese refineries processed 10.71 million barrels per day in July. That was 500,000 barrels per day lower than in June and marked its lowest level since September 2016, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, U.S. production continues to climb. On Friday, a weekly read showed U.S. rigs drilling for oil increased by 3 to 768 in the past week, according to Baker Hughes. The increase reversed a small decline a week earlier.
Global oversupply remains a risk to commodities markets. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' combined production increased by 173,000 barrels per day to nearly 32.9 million barrels in July. The cartel previously made a pact to limit output, though there are no restrictions on some members such as Libya.
Violence and chaos erupted in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend as white nationalists and protesters clashed. Events escalated when a car rammed into a protesting crowd, killing one and injuring at least 19 others. James Alex Fields, Jr. has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency earlier Saturday.
President Trump denounced the violence in Charlottesville in a statement on Saturday. In comments to the press, Trump said, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides."
However, critics said Trump's comments did not go far enough, particularly as he blamed violence "on many sides." Photos of a white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia on Friday night flooded social media, inflamed racial tensions, and drew anti-racism protesters on Friday and Saturday. The Friday night gathering was in protest of the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue commemorating his leadership of the Confederate army during the Civil War.
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