Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, July 16:
1. Trump To Meet Putin In Helsinki
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to hold their first stand-alone meeting in Helsinki this morning.
The two leaders will have a 90-minute one-on-one meeting, scheduled to start at 1:20PM local time (6:20AM ET), joined only by their interpreters.
They will then be joined by aides for a two-hour expanded meeting and working lunch at the Presidential Palace.
The leaders will cap off their time in Finland with a joint press conference at 4:50PM local time (9:50AM ET).
Geopolitical analysts expect Putin to urge Trump to soften sanctions imposed over Ukraine, while Trump has said he will press Putin on everything from allegations of meddling in the 2016 U.S. election to the war in Syria. However, neither side expects the one-day summit to yield major policy breakthroughs given the battered state of U.S.-Russia relations.
The meeting will conclude Trump's controversial European visit, during which he harangued NATO allies on their spending commitments and publicly criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy and described the European Union as a "foe" of the United States in an interview with CBS News.
2. Bank of America, Netflix Kick Off Busy Week Of Earnings
There are about 60 S&P 500 companies reporting earnings in the week ahead, including seven Dow stocks, in what will be the first big week of the second-quarter earnings season.
Analysts have said they are expecting another strong quarter, with earnings growth at around 21%, according to Thomson Reuters data. However, the season is being clouded by trade tensions and their impact on corporate profits, with analysts likely to scrutinize outlook statements to see if companies discuss the impact of Donald Trump's trade policies on future spending plans, input costs and profitability.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) are scheduled to report results ahead of today's opening bell. Tech darling Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is on the docket after the close.
3. U.S. Retail Sales In Focus
Monday's calendar features the biggest economic data point of the week.
The Commerce Department will publish data on retail sales for June at 8:30AM ET, which should lend further support to the notion that the economy is on solid footing.
Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was a shade lower at 94.30.
Meanwhile, in the bond market, U.S. Treasury prices edged lower, pushing yields higher across the curve, with the benchmark 10-year yield inching up to 2.94%.
4. Wall Street Set To Open At 5-Month Highs
U.S. stock futures looked set to kick off the week on an upbeat note, with the major indices on track to open at a five-month high, as investors focused on the upcoming corporate earnings season.
At 5:25AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 44 points, or around 0.2%, to 25,047, the S&P 500 futures tacked on 3 points, or roughly 0.1%, to 2,805, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 15 points, or about 0.2%, to 7,408.
U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 hitting a more than five-month high on expectations of solid earnings growth among U.S. firms despite threats of a global trade war.
In Europe, most of the region's major bourses traded slightly above the flatline in quiet mid-morning trade, with the different sectors moving in opposite directions.
China's economy grew 6.7% in the second quarter of the year, a slight slowdown from the first quarter, but in line with analysts’ expectations. There are concerns, however, that upcoming quarters might be impacted by an escalation in a trade war with the U.S.
The Shanghai composite declined around 0.6%.
5. Oil Prices Slip As Markets Eye Supply Increases
Oil prices were lower to start the week, as market focus shifted toward possible supply increases, even as a Norwegian union for workers on offshore oil and gas drilling rigs stepped up a six-day strike.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude was down 50 cents, or around 0.7%, at $69.45 a barrel.
Brent crude futures were down 20 cents, or 0.3%, at $75.13 a barrel.
Both benchmarks posted sharp losses last week amid reduced bets on a global crude shortage after Libyan ports resumed export activities. That should allow the return of as much as 850,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude into international markets.