April 29, 2019
By Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were on course to open lower on Monday after hitting another closing high in the previous session, as investors awaited inflation data and a fresh batch of earnings.
In yet another busy week for earnings, about 160 S&P 500 companies, including Google-parent Alphabet Inc and Apple Inc, are due to report their quarterly reports.
Analysts now expect profits of S&P 500 companies to fall 0.3%, a sharp improvement from a 2% fall estimated at the beginning of the month, according to Refinitiv data.
An inflation report from the Commerce Department is expected to show personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index for March to have risen 0.7% from 0.1% in February. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The core PCE index, which excludes the volatile food and energy components and is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, is expected to remain steady at 0.1% in March.
Also weighing on sentiment was data from the Euro Zone that showed economic sentiment dipped for the 10th consecutive month to its lowest level in more than two years in April.
As trade talks enter their last leg, U.S. negotiators head to China on Tuesday to try to hammer out details to end the protracted trade spat between the two countries.
At 7:13 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.07%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.75 points, or 0.09% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 9.25 points, or 0.12%.
The S&P 500 index is just 0.04% shy of its all-time high of 2940.91 points hit in September, after rallying 17 percent this year largely on the back of a more dovish Fed and hopes of a U.S.-China trade resolution.
Among stocks, Walt Disney Co rose 1.7% premarket after the debut of “Avengers: Endgame” over the weekend pushed total ticket sales for the superhero spectacle to $1.2 billion, crushing records in dozens of countries.
Boeing Co dipped 0.5%. Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg will meet Boeing shareholders for the first time on Monday since two fatal crashes that led to the 737 MAX’s grounding worldwide.
Google-parent Alphabet Inc edged up 0.2% premarket ahead of its results after the bell, while Apple Inc, which is set to report on Tuesday, dipped 0.1%.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)