Stock futures subdued after weak manufacturing data from Europe

Stock futures subdued after weak manufacturing data from Europe

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were muted on Thursday, as weak manufacturing data out of Europe underscored concerns of a global slowdown, while investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the release of a long-awaited Mueller report.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

French and German surveys of purchasing managers for April showed that manufacturing activity in euro zone’s two biggest economies continued to contract.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election will be released on Thursday, providing the first public look at the findings of an inquiry that has cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.

Attorney General William Barr will hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the report, ahead of the release.

At 6:59 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 27 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.75 points, or 0.06%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 4.25 points, or 0.06%.

On trade, Washington and Beijing set a tentative timeline for a fresh round of face-to-face meetings ahead of a possible signing ceremony in late May or early June, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Honeywell International Inc shares rose 1.9% after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raising its full-year financial forecast.

Of the 54 S&P 500 companies that have posted earnings so far, 79.6% have beaten consensus, according to Refinitiv data.

Analysts now expect first-quarter profits for S&P 500 companies to have dropped 1.8% year-on-year, an improvement from recent estimates, but would still be the first earnings decline since 2016.

Honeywell International Inc shares rose 1.9% after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raising its full-year financial forecast.

Kinder Morgan Inc rose 1.3 percent after Chief Executive Steven Kean said the company has begun internal discussions about building a third natural gas pipeline in the Permian Basin.

Investors are also awaiting the hotly-anticipated debut of online scrapbook company Pinterest Inc, the first high-profile initial public offering of a “tech unicorn” after Lyft Inc’s struggles.

Commerce Department report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is likely to show U.S. retail sales rebounded 0.9 percent in March after a 0.2 percent decline in February.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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