Before the bell: What you need to know before the US market open

Billy Bambrough
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The tail fin of an Air Asia Airbus A320 during the Farnborough Airshow yesterday (Source: Getty)

US stock markets are at a record high, Opec production is at its highest level in eight years, and China's trade surplus narrowed.

Here's what you need to know before the US market open at 2:30pm London time.

US futures are pointing up ahead of the open, though are not looking quite as rosy as in recent sessions.

The S&P is up by 0.16 per cent in the pre-market, while the Nasdaq is up by 0.25 per cent. The Dow is 0.12 per cent higher. The US 10-year yield is down three basis points at 1.48 per cent.

Read more: Say what? Gold might not be as good a hedge against economic crashes as thought

European markets are mixed in early trading, while most Asian markets ended the day with gains.

Sky high US stocks...

Yesterday's rally saw both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hit fresh record highs, and if the pre-market is anything to go by they could be beating them again today.

The Dow reached 18,347.67, while the S&P settled at 2,152.14. The Nasdaq missed completing the hat-trick however, ending the day 3.8 per cent shy of its record peak at 5,022.82.

Brexit oil spill...

Opec countries pumped more oil than at any time in recent history in June, sparking fears the supply glut may not clear in the second half of the year.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries delivered nearly 32.9m barrels of oil a day in June, up about one per cent on May, according to its monthly statistical bulletin.

Read more: Moody's issues warning over "fragile five" Opec member Angola

The diminished former oil cartel also cautioned the UK's recent vote to quit the European Union could dampen oil demand across the continent.

To China...

China exports fell 4.8 per cent year-over-year in dollar terms while imports sagged 8.4 per cent, data released by China's General Administration of Customs has shown.

The result was a trade surplus of $48.11bn in June, slightly under May's reading of $49.98bn.

Stocks to watch

Shares in Airbus have fallen after the airplane manufacturer said that it would cut production of its super jumbo A380 jets as demand for the jets trails off.

The aerospace engineering firm constructed 27 of the super jumbos last year, but is now targeting annual production of just 20 in 2017 and 12 in 2018.

Tech stocks will be closely watched after two industry watchers – Gartner and IDC – said data shows PC shipments in the US have returned to growth for the first time in over a year.

Gartner data, which includes Windows tablets, showed that PC shipments grew 1.4 per cent in the second quarter. IDC data, which doesn't include Windows tablets, showed growth of 4.9 per cent.

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It's not all good news though – Deliveries to the rest of the world fell by 4.5 per cent to 5.2 per cent.

Companies reporting today

Corporate data remains light ahead of the financial flood at the end of the week. International transportation firm CSX and KFC owner Yum Brands will report after markets close.

In economic news

Crude-oil inventories will be released at 3:30pm London time, and the Fed's Beige Book – which gives detailed information about the state of the US economy – will cross the wires at 7pm.

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