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Stocks - Wall Street Edges Down; Target Shock; BofA Beats

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com - Wall Street is expected to open marginally lower Wednesday, continuing Tuesday’s late pullback with investors fretting that trade tensions between the U.S. and China with continue long after the deal set to be signed later.

S&P 500 Futures were trading 2 points, or 0.2%, lower by 7:10 AM ET (12:10 GMT), Nasdaq 100 Futures were 1 point, or 0.1%, lower, while the Dow Jones 30 Futures contract was down 24 points, or 0.1%.

That said, losses are likely to be minor. The overall tone remains very positive, with stock market gains in January in line to be the most in seven years. Wall Street hasn’t had a pullback over 1% for 66 trading days.

U.S. and Chinese officials are set to sign the “phase one” trade deal Wednesday in Washington, scheduled at 11:30 AM ET (16:30 GMT). It had been hoped that this would indicate a scaling back of trade hostilities between the two economic powerhouses, but overnight comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have put paid to that.

"The tariffs will stay in place until there is a phase two. If the president gets phase two quickly, he will consider releasing tariffs. If not, there won't be any tariff relief," Mnuchin said on Bloomberg TV.

Aside from the trade agreement, eyes will also be on the release of earnings from the likes of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) for the final three months of last year before the stock market open.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) offered up a small beat on expectations, with revenues coming in at $22.49 billion, versus $22.35 billion expected and EPS at $0.74 versus $0.68. However, both revenue and net income were down on the year, in part due to the Federal Reserve's three interest rate cuts in the second half of last year. At 07:05 AM ET (12:05 GMT) Bank of America’s shares traded 0.7% higher premarket.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) had by comparison reported big increases in earnings on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Target (NYSE:TGT) stock fell as much as 9% before paring losses after the retailer said holiday sales had missed its expectations, rising only 1.4% on the year.

Economic data on the slate Wednesday includes the PPI release for December, the NY Empire State Manufacturing Index for January and the weekly {{0|oil} inventories.

Crude oil traded up 0.2% at $58.32 a barrel. International Brent oil futures also rose, this time 0.1% to $64.55. Gold futures for February delivery on New York’s COMEX rose 0.5% to $1,551.65.

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