Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, July 11:
1. Inflation, jobless claims, more Powell testimony in spotlight
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will be back in the spotlight Thursday, after hinting a day earlier that the central bank will likely move forward with a quarter-point rate cut at its next meeting later this month.
Although Powell will repeat the same testimony beginning at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT) - this time to the Senate Banking Committee - he will have the opportunity to emphasize his dovish outlook in the Q&A with senators, as well as to add to the critical comments he made regarding Facebook's digital currency project Libra on Wednesday.
Three other Fed policymakers will also likely offer their own views in separate appearances throughout the day.
On the data front, the latest inflation and labor market data will be released at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).
The consumer price index for June will be taken in the context of Powell’s comments that there is a risk that weak inflation may be even more persistent that the Fed currently expects.
Weekly jobless claims arrive after the June employment report painted a solid picture of job creation in the U.S. economy.
2. Delta kicks off airlines’ earnings
Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) is set to report earnings before the market open Thursday, with investors anticipating good second-quarter results from the airline, helped by its lack of exposure to problems with Boeing's 737 MAX. The model doesn't feature in Delta's fleet, in contrast to most of Delta's rivals.
With the “unofficial” start of the earnings season set to begin with JP Morgan’s results on July 16, Entergy (NYSE:ETR) and Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) will be among companies also reporting before the bell.
Shares of Bed Bath&Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) slumped 4% in pre-market trade Thursday after reporting large losses due to impairment charges for a second quarter running.
3. Global stocks rise after Powell's comments, Fed minutes
Global stocks were higher on Thursday after Powell - and the minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting - encouraged investor expectations of a rate cut at the end of the month.
U.S. futures pointed to a higher opening bell on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq 100 futures gaining 32 points, or 0.4% by 5:51 AM ET (9:51 GMT), while Dow futures rose 79 points, or 0.3% and S&P 500 futures traded up 9 points, or 0.3%. The S&P briefly traded above 3,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday.
4. Oil rises as Iran attempts to seize U.K. tanker
Oil prices were trading at a six-week high on Thursday as heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf and storm warnings in the Gulf of Mexico supported prices.
Iran reportedly attempted to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, according to CNN, although Tehran officially denied the report.
Tensions have been high in the Middle East after attacks on tankers and the downing of a U.S. drone by Iran last month.
Meanwhile, a storm threat in the Gulf of Mexico hit crude production in the area as companies evacuated rig workers from the area. U.S. oil producers have so far cut nearly a third of Gulf of Mexico crude output ahead of what could be one of the first major storms of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Traders will look to the monthly OPEC report, expected at 7:00 AM ET (11:00 GMT) on key developments shaping oil markets, with its assessment of global demand particularly important now that OPEC and other producers including Russia have agreed to limit their supply at least through the end of the year.
5. U.S. eyes France for retaliatory tariffs amid global trade tensions
The U.S. has launched an inquiry into France’s plan to tax tech giants in what may be a precursor to retaliatory tariffs.
The French Parliament will decide on whether to approve a 3% levy on revenue made by such companies as Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer claimed may be discriminatory against American tech companies.
The issue will likely raise trade tensions between the U.S. and the European Union, which U.S. President Donald Trump has already threatened with automobile tariffs.