U.S. stock futures showed a mixed picture on the final trading day of November, as investors turned their focus to an upcoming gathering of world leaders in Argentina.
Dow Jones industrial average futures traded 52 points lower at about 4:17 a.m. ET, but indicated a slightly lower open of just 3 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq Compositefutures were barely below the flatline.
Futures took cue from international markets on Friday. Equities in Europe and Asia were both seen mixed as attention centered around the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Trade news has again become the dominant focus for investors as President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping get set to meet at the summit. China hawk Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade advisor, will attend the dinner between the two, CNBC reported on Thursday, news that piled pressure on stocks on the day.
Navarro is seen as a contentious figure in terms of Washington’s trade relations with Beijing due to his aggressive stance on the world’s second-largest economy. He clashed with White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow earlier this month after saying any deal with China would be “on President Donald J. Trump’s terms, not Wall Street’s terms.”
Market players also digested minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November 7-8 meeting, which showed the U.S. central bank was ready to hike interest rates again in December, but is worried about the impact trade uncertainty and corporate debt could have on economic growth.
Some Fed members also raised the point that America’s base interest rate “might currently be near its neutral level,” echoing a recent dovish comment from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who said interest rates are “just below” neutral. A federal funds rate that would be neutral for the economy means one that is neither speeding up nor slowing down growth.
No major earnings results are expected to be posted on Friday. In economic data, Chicago PMI (purchasing managers’ index) and U.S. PMI manufacturing index figures are due to be released at 9:45 a.m. ET.
Meanwhile, New York Fed President John Williams is set to speak at a panel on the future of the global economy at around 9 a.m. ET.