By William Watts, MarketWatch , Clive McKeef
Coca-Cola shares rise after third-quarter results
U.S. stock-index futures were flat to slightly lower Friday morning after data showed China's economic growth slowing further in the third quarter, with investors looking for direction at the end of a week that saw equities buoyed by a strong start to corporate earnings reporting season.
U.S. equities are still on track for weekly gains after snapping a three-week losing streak last week.
What are major indexes doing?
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 25 points, or 0.1%, at 26,965, while S&P 500 futures fell 1.0 points to 2996. Nasdaq-100 futures slipped to 7,946.
Stocks ended with small gains Thursday, with the Dow up 23.9 points, or 0.1%, at 27,025.88 after flipping between positive and negative territory. The S&P 500 gained 8.26 points, or 0.3%, to close at 2,997.95, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 32.67 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 8,156.85.
What's driving the market?
Global equities were under pressure Friday after China's National Bureau of Statistics said growth of the world's second-largest economy slowed to 6% growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-economic-growth-continues-to-cool-off-2019-10-17) in the third quarter from a 6.2% pace in the second quarter, and the slowest pace since the early 1990s. The pace was in the middle of the central government's full-year target for gross domestic product, as business investment continued to deteriorate.
"Though analysts had expected to see Chinese GDP growth to be weaker than in the previous quarters the overall expectation was of an increase of 6.1% with a decline to below 6% at some point next year," said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, in a note. "However, Friday's data shows that the decline is accelerating and that trade-war frictions are taking their toll faster than expected."
While the weaker growth might stir expectations Beijing will be more amenable to completing a trade deal with the U.S., it's also likely to reinforce concerns about a slowing global economy.
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reported (https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-economic-advisers-warned-trump-on-tariffs-before-china-truce-11571391006)that White House advisers warned Trump last week that continued escalation of US-China trade tensions could hit the economy and dampen his re-election chances.
Stocks were buoyed Thursday after U.K. and European Union leaders announced a tentative agreement on Brexit, but the deal faces a significant hurdle (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/johnson-returns-to-london-to-drum-up-support-for-brexit-deal-2019-10-18) in the U.K. Parliament with a debate and vote set for Saturday.
Read:What a Brexit deal would mean for U.S. stocks and global investors (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-a-brexit-deal-would-mean-for-us-stocks-and-global-investors-2019-10-17)
A busy week for earnings comes to a close Friday. Shares of beverage giant Coca-Cola Co.(KO) were 2.4% higher in premarket action after reporting third-quarter results. Shares of oil-field-services firm Schlumberger Ltd.(SLB) were also higher after reporting third-quarter earnings and revenue (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/schlumberger-stock-rises-after-swinging-to-large-loss-but-adjusted-profit-and-revenue-beats-expectations-2019-10-18) that came in above Wall Street expectations.
What's on the economic calendar?
The economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/economic) features September U.S. Conference Board leading economic indicators at 10 a.m. Eastern and a flurry of public remarks by Federal Reserve officials, including a speech by Vice Chairman Richard Clarida on the economic outlook and interest rates in Boston at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.
Ahead of that, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan is scheduled to participate in a moderated question-and-answer session at a 9 a.m. Eastern event, while Kansas City Fed President Esther George will deliver a speech on the economy in Denver at 10:05 a.m. Eastern.
In money markets, New York Fed President John Williams said late Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-williams-says-central-bank-would-adjust-plan-to-soothe-funding-markets-as-appropriate-2019-10-17)that the central bank was closely monitoring its measures to soothe pressures in funding markets, and could adjust its plans. Since funding markets seized up last month, the U.S. central bank has regularly intervened to provide liquidity, offering daily repurchasing agreements to lend out funds to market participants thirsty for cash and announcing $60 billion of bill purchases at least through the second half of 2020.
Federal Reserve officials are heading into their meeting in two weeks likely to cut interest rates while debating whether they have done enough for now to vaccinate the economy against growing risks of a sharper slowdown, the Wall Street Journal reported (https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-eyes-another-rate-cut-weighs-when-to-stop-11571391003?mod=hp_lead_pos7).
The IMF and World Bank host annual meetings of global finance chiefs in Washington D.C. Friday and Saturday.
Stocks to watch
American Express(AXP) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-express-stock-surges-after-earnings-rise-above-forecasts-amid-higher-card-member-spending-2019-10-18) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-express-stock-surges-after-earnings-rise-above-forecasts-amid-higher-card-member-spending-2019-10-18)earned $2.08 per share for the third quarter (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-express-stock-surges-after-earnings-rise-above-forecasts-amid-higher-card-member-spending-2019-10-18), 5 cents a share above estimates and revenue also came in above analysts' forecast.
Coca-Cola (KO) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 56 cents per share (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/coca-cola-adj-eps-falls-2-to-match-consensus-2019-10-18), in line with forecasts but revenue was higher than expected. Coca-Cola also reported organic sales growth of 5%, beating forecasts, and also raised its full-year guidance for revenue and operating income.
Schlumberger(SLB) , the oil field services company beat forecasts by 3 cents (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/schlumberger-stock-rises-after-swinging-to-large-loss-but-adjusted-profit-and-revenue-beats-expectations-2019-10-18)with adjusted quarterly profit of 43 cents per share and revenue was above forecasts.
E*Trade Financial (ETFC), reported quarterly earnings of $1.08 per share (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/e-trade-tops-q3-views-vows-to-take-market-share-in-zero-fee-environment-2019-10-17), 7 cents a share above estimates and revenue beat forecasts.
How are other markets performing?
The 10-year Treasury note yield was up 1.2 basis points to 1.769%, while the 2-year note rate was mostly unchanged at 1.607%. The 30-year bond yield rose 1.6 basis points to 2.257%.
Oil futures traded higher Friday, but remained on track for a weekly loss, with support tied to a fall in U.S. product inventories despite a large jump in crude stocks. West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery rose 59 cents, or 1.1%, to $54.52 a barrel, leaving the U.S. benchmark on track for a 0.4% weekly decline. The global benchmark, as measured by December Brent crude , was up 22 cents, or 0.4%, at $60.15 a barrel, off 0.7% for the week.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 18, 2019 09:05 ET (13:05 GMT)
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