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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Monday

Investing.com -- "Multiple" whistleblowers, a setback to hopes of a breakthrough on the trade dispute with China - and GM's strike enters a fourth week after negotiations "take a turn for the worse." Here's what you need to know in financial markets on Monday, 7th October.

1. Whistleblower's attorneys have new client (or clients)

Attorneys representing the CIA official whose report led to impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump now say they are working on behalf of "multiple" whistleblowers with first-hand knowledge of Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Hunter Biden, the son of former vice-president Joe.

The prospect of corroboration of the initial claims by other staff will intensify the scrutiny on the administration, even though Trump has publicly admitted that he wants Ukraine and China to investigate the Biden family ahead of next year’s elections - something that appears at face value to be a direct call for foreign powers to help him in next year’s election campaign.

2. Report hits trade hopes

The chance of a major breakthrough between China and the U.S. in their trade dispute has reportedly ebbed.

Trade talks between the two countries’ top negotiators are due to resume on Thursday, but Bloomberg reported that China has dug its heels in and no longer wants to make concessions regarding its industrial policy, an area that covers the extensive subsidies enjoyed by Chinese businesses.

It’s not clear how serious Beijing ever was about making such concessions, but the report suggested that Beijing will drive a harder bargain, seeing that Trump’s own need for a deal is becoming more urgent in view of the economic slowdown and the impeachment proceedings. The offshore yuan rate fell slightly against the dollar.

3. Stocks set to give up Friday gains

U.S. stock markets are set to open the week lower after rallying into the close on Friday on the hope for an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve later this month.

Trade pessimism and forebodings about the upcoming earnings season are weighing on expectations. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect S&P 500 companies to report an average 4% year-on-year decline in earnings in the third quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal.

By 6:15 AM ET, Dow futures were down 104 points or 0.4%. The S&P 500 futures contract and Nasdaq 100 futures were also down 0.4%, with EU antitrust authorities' latest move against Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) pressuring the latter, in particular.

4. GM strike drags on

The strike at General Motors (NYSE:GM) is set to enter a fourth week after talks between it and the United Auto Workers union stalled over job guarantees.

Terry Dittes, the U.A.W.’s lead negotiator with GM, was quoted as telling members that the union “could not be more disappointed with General Motors (NYSE:GM),” adding that: “These negotiations have taken a turn for the worse.”

GM stock has fallen over 10% since the strike began, sharply underperforming the Dow Jones Autos index.

5. Europe struggles with Brexit, German slowdown

Europe’s markets continued to struggle after another disappointing set of factory orders from Germany. Orders fell 0.6% on the month in August, keeping the region’s largest economy on track to enter recession in the third quarter.

While the headline number was worse than expected, it was offset by an upward revision to July’s figures, which fell only 2.1%, rather than the 2.7% initially reported.

Also weighing on sentiment is the ever-more real prospect of a disorderly Brexit. Reports over the weekend suggested that there is little chance of the EU and U.K. bridging their differences on a revised withdrawal agreement by the summit due next week. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is required by law to ask for an extension to the Oct. 31 deadline if there is no deal by then.

The pound dipped below $1.2300 in early trading but recovered later to trade around $1.2315 by 6:15 AM

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