Friday July 28th


US stocks hold lower after GDP data matches estimates

U.S. stock index futures held lower on Friday after U.S. economic growth data came in-line with expectations. The U.S. economy grew by at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent during the second quarter. Economists polled by Reuters expected the economy to have grown at that rate. Dow futures traded 36 points lower, while S&P and Nasdaq futures slipped 6.5 points and 43.50 points, respectively. After a whirlwind of earnings releases seen this week, Friday will deliver a lighter batch, however these earnings are still expected to keep investors on their toes. ExxonMobil, Merck, and American Airlines Group are among the companies that reported quarterly results.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will be speaking at a Woodbury/St. Paul Chamber of Commerce event, in Oakdale. In the political sphere, the U.S. Senate blocked the Republicans most recent attempt to repeal Obamacare in a floor vote early Friday, dealing another blow which yet again delayed — for the time being — the key campaign goal that eludes the GOP six months into the Trump administration. In the energy sphere investor sentiment remained optimistic, supported by a recent fall in U.S. inventories and OPEC's continued efforts to rein in the market's oversupply. Despite the positive sentiment, oil prices were fluctuating between gains and losses during trade, with U.S. crude hovering around $49.10, and Brent around $51.69 per barrel at 8:04 a.m. ET. In Europe, bourses were trading in the red in morning trade, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade under pressure. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.6 percent, or 119.8 points, to close at 19,959.84. South Korea's benchmark Kospi index declined 1.73 percent, or 42.25 points, to end at 2,400.99. Greater China markets were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.55 percent, or 150.23 points, to close at 26,980.94. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite closed higher by 0.13 percent, or 4.3438 points, at 3,254.1252. The Shenzhen Composite finished the session above the flat line, up 0.129 percent, or 2.4142 points, at 1,868.3724. Gold rose on Friday as investors digested U.S. economic data that matched expectations. Spot gold was 0.55 percent higher at $1,265.09 an ounce. It was on track to rise for a third week in a row. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were 0.3 percent higher at $1,264.10 an ounce.