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Trade balance — What you need to know in markets on Wednesday

Myles Udland
Markets Reporter

The U.S. economy is on a roll right now.

On Tuesday, we learned that service-sector activity is at a three-year high, job openings are at a record, and coupled with last week’s good news on job growth and the manufacturing sector, things are looking up for the U.S. economy.

And while it might not quite be the best economy ever — as President Donald Trump argued in a tweet Tuesday — it’s pretty darn good.

Now on Wednesday, the biggest piece of economic data set for release might make Trump a little bit less excited. And that is the balance of trade of the month of April.

Economists expect that the U.S. ran a trade deficit of $49 billion in April, in-line with March’s deficit and matching an annualized run rate of just under $600 billion.

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a joint statement to members of the media Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. The U.S. is announcing that it will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods containing “industrially significant technology.” The White House said Tuesday, May 29, 2018, that the tariff will cover goods related to the “Made in China 2025” program. The full list of imports that will be covered will be announced by June 15. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The trade deficit has been a focus of Trump this year with his desire to see the U.S. narrow this gap against its international trading partners in order to “level” the global economic playing field. This is a minority view.

Also on the economic calendar will be the final reading on worker productivity in the first quarter, which is expected to rise 0.6% during the first three months of the year. Worker productivity has been closely watched by economists in recent years as certain economic themes like “secular stagnation” hinged on productivity failing to increase due to a lack of innovation and investment.

And on the earnings side, notable companies expected to report results include Vera Bradley (VRA), Ascena Retail (ASNA), Verifone (PAY), and Okta (OKTA).

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland