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Wall Street heads for lower open

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Wall Street heads for lower open

(ABM FN-Dow Jones) US stocks are heading for a lower open on Friday. Futures on the leading S&P 500 index were in the red more than half an hour before the opening bell.

High oil prices and the latest geopolitical developments once again dominate sentiment on Friday.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will meet on Friday to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Washington urging Beijing to cut ties with Russia. Biden will emphasize that there are consequences if Beijing goes beyond verbal support, government officials said. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that Biden will “make it clear that China will bear responsibility for all actions it takes to support Russian aggression.”

In addition, the market is still chewing on the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate decision after the central bank announced a moderate rate hike on Wednesday, but also said it would tighten aggressively without impacting growth.

“What doesn’t help is a lack of clarity about the talks between Ukraine and Russia,” said Oanda market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

“Stock markets remain highly sensitive to the effects of the conflict and as the fighting enters its fourth week, there still appears to be a significant gap between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators,” said Susannah Streeter of Hargreaves Lansdown.

On a macroeconomic level, two publications are scheduled in the US on Friday. Half an hour after the opening bell, the existing home sales and the leading indicators appear.

The euro/dollar traded at 1.1032. At the start of the trading day in Europe, the currency pair still moved at 1.1077 and when the US stock exchanges closed on Thursday, there was a position of 1.1089 on the plates.

Oil was down 0.3 percent on Friday.

Company news

Meta Platforms fell 0.8 percent pre-market trading. Facebook’s parent company is being sued by an Australian regulator for not doing enough to identify and remove false advertisements.

FedEx was 2.8 percent lower in pre-market trading after the parcel delivery company reported a disappointing profit on Thursday. Fedex posted a quarterly net profit of $1.1 billion, or $4.20 per share, on revenue of $23.6 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $4.65 per share on revenue of $23.4 billion.

Moderna has asked the US Food and Drug Administration to approve a second booster dose of its adult coronavirus vaccine in the US. The stock gained 2.2 percent pre-market.

Gamestop fell 7.5 percent before trading, after figures showed that the American retailer of computer games again plunged into the red in the past quarter.

Koch Industries plans to stay in Russia despite economic sanctions from US and European countries.

Closing positions

The leading S&P 500 index closed 1.2 percent higher on Thursday at 4,411.67 points. The Dow Jones index ended 1.2 percent in the green at 34,480.76 points and technology stock Nasdaq rose 1.3 percent to 13,614.78 points.

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