1. Stocks set for lower open with rate policy and trade talks on the minds of investors
Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a House Budget Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures were lower Thursday morning after weekly jobless claims jumped to their highest level since 2017. On the monetary policy front, the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged Thursday. It’s Christine Lagarde‘s first meeting as ECB president. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve ended its final two-day meeting of the year with no change in U.S. rates and no intention to move either way anytime soon. Central bankers cut rates three times in 2019. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday, at his post-meeting news conference, that the Fed would like to see a move in inflation that is significant and persistent before it were to raise rates again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed modestly higher Wednesday, breaking a two-session losing streak.
2. Trump to meet with trade advisors on China deal ahead of Sunday tariffs deadline
President Donald Trump speaks after announcing and initial deal with China while meeting the special Envoy and Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China Liu He at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on October 11, 2019.
Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images
Uncertainty about whether the U.S. and China can reach a “phase one” trade deal, or at least agree to a detente, before Sunday’s deadline for new American tariffs against Chinese products has been hanging over the stock market. On Thursday, President Donald Trump is expected to meet with his top trade advisors to discuss the planned Dec. 15 tariffs on some $160 billion in Chinese goods, three sources familiar with the plans told Reuters. Officials circulated talking points downplaying the repercussions such a tariff hike would have on the U.S. economy ahead of Trump’s meeting with Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House advisers Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro.
3. UK voters head to the polls, with Brexit’s future hanging in the balance
Polling Station sign is seen two days before General Elections in London, Great Britain on December 10, 2019.
NurPhoto | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Voters across the U.K. are heading to the polls Thursday for a general election that is likely to shape the country for decades to come. The snap vote was called by the government led by Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson because of a parliamentary impasse over the Brexit deal he had negotiated with the EU. Johnson and his Party are aiming to win enough seats to give them a majority in the 650-seat parliament that will enable them to pass their Brexit deal, formally known as the “Withdrawal Agreement.” The prime minister has repeatedly said a vote for his party means the ability to “get Brexit done.”
4. Saudi Aramco hits $2 trillion valuation on second day of trading
A sign of Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) is seen during a news conference by the state oil company at the Plaza Conference Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia November 3, 2019.
Hamad I Mohammed | Reuters
Shares of Saudi Aramco surged on their second day of public trading, pushing the kingdom’s record IPO to a $2 trillion valuation, briefly touching Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s long-held target for the company. The $2 trillion figure, nearly $1 trillion higher than the world’s next-largest public companies Apple and Microsoft, was long ridiculed and regarded with disbelief by much of the international financial community. Riyadh on Wednesday made history by listing 1.5% of its state-run oil giant on its local stock exchange, the Saudi Tadawul.
5. Warren’s wealth tax would raise $1 trillion less than she estimates: Wharton study
Democratic presidential hopeful Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren gestures as she arrives for a town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues hosted by CNN and the Human rights Campaign Foundation at The Novo in Los Angeles on October 10, 2019.
ROBYN BECK | AFP | Getty Images
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School finds that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren‘s proposed wealth tax on the richest Americans will generate at least $1 trillion less than what the campaign claims, potentially undermining the key funding source for her plans to expand government-backed health care, education and other programs. Warren’s tax, if implemented in 2021, would raise between $2.3 trillion and $2.7 trillion in additional revenue over 10 years, well below the $3.75 trillion her campaign estimates, according to the university’s report viewed by CNBC.