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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Friday

5 key factors for the markets on Friday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, October 19:

1. China registers lowest growth since crisis

The Chinese economy grew 6.5% in the third quarter, slowing from the prior 6.7% and missing expectations for a 6.6% expansion.

It was the slowest growth since the height of the financial crisis in the first quarter of 2009.

The data comes amid concerns that the continuing trade dispute with the U.S. will further dampen the performance of the world’s second largest economy.

Third quarter growth was dragged down by the weakest factory output - the 5.8% rise in industrial production for September missed estimates of 6.0% - since February 2016 as automobile makers cut production by over 10% amid a sales slowdown.

2. Procter & Gamble up to bat as PayPal soars

Dow component Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) will be the focus amid companies reporting before the bell on Friday, while Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), State Street (NYSE:STT) and Honeywell (NYSE:HON) will also be on the docket.

PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) was also in focus after the company reported third quarter results that topped consensus and lifted its outlook. Shares were up around 7% in pre-market trade.

As of Thursday’s close, 72 S&P 500 firms have reported earnings so far this season with 79% beating profit estimates and 66% topping consensus sales forecasts, according to The Earnings Scout.

3. Housing data and Fedspeak to focus attention

On a thin day for economic data, investors will focus on the publication of existing home sales for September at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT). As the data accounts for 90% of the sales in the housing market, traders will keep a close eye on what has been lackluster inventory data that, coupled with low new home construction, has been unable to keep up with demand.

Outside of the data on the economic calendar, and with all the recent attention on the latest Federal Reserve minutes, investors will be pay close attention to appearances from Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic.

4. U.S. futures signal rebound after sharp sell-off

After the prior session’s sharp sell-off sparked by weak industrial earnings and continued concerns over the outcome of investigations into missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. futures pointed to a slight bounce for Wall Street on Friday ahead of corporate earnings, housing data and appearances from Federal Reserve policy makers.

At 5:33 AM ET (9:33 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures gained 56 points, or 0.22%, S&P 500 futures rose 6 points, or 0.21%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 26 points, or 0.36%.

Friday’s recovery will still do little to pare what has been a rough October for stocks. The Dow and S&P 500 have both fallen more than 4% so far this month, with tech stocks showing a larger decline of nearly 7%.

Elsewhere, European shares were lower as concerns over Italy’s budget continued to weigh on bank stocks and lack of progress in Brexit negotiations kept investors on edge.

Earlier, Asian stocks saw mixed trade with Chinese stocks leading gains. The Shanghai Composite registered its biggest gain in two months despite the weaker-than-expected economic growth as top financial officials voiced support for the battered equity market.

5. U.S. crude heads for sharp weekly decline ahead of data on U.S. oil rigs

Oil prices traded slightly higher on Friday, but U.S. crude was still on track for a sharp weekly decline of 3.2% amid supply concerns.

U.S. crude oil futures gained 0.60% to $69.06 by 5:35 AM ET (9:35 GMT), while Brent oil traded up 0.93% to $80.03.

Losses this week were sparked by data released Wednesday that showed U.S. crude stocks surged by 6.5 million barrels last week, the fourth straight weekly build and almost triple what analysts had forecast.

Later on Friday, investors will digest the Baker Hughes’ oil rig count data to gauge U.S. drilling activity.

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