Business

Trump tweets; Zuckerberg testifies; Inflation watch

premarket wednesday Click chart for more in-depth data.

1. Trump tweets: US stock futures dropped sharply after President Donald Trump warned Russia on that it should “get ready” for a missile strike on Syria.

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart,’ ” Trump tweeted.

US crude oil prices zoomed higher following the tweet. They were trading 1% higher at $66.20. US stock futures pointed to losses in the range of 1% when markets open.

Investors are worried about a wider military conflict in the Middle East.

European markets posted losses of less than 1% on Wednesday following a mixed session in Asia.

2. Facebook watch: Investors seemed satisfied with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s performance during congressional testimony on Tuesday. But another round of questioning looms.

Zuckerberg faced senators a month after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

The CEO formally apologized for mistakes that led to the scandal and stressed that his company is rethinking its responsibility to users and society.

Shares in Facebook (FB) soared 4.5% on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg will testify on Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

3. Trade war fears ease: US markets rallied on Tuesday after Chinese President Xi Jinping said that his government plans to “significantly lower” tariffs on imported cars this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.8%. The S&P 500 added 1.7%, while the Nasdaq soared 2.1%.

Automakers drove the rally: GM (GM), Ford (F), Honda (HMC) and Tesla (TSLA) all gained ground. Boeing (BA) and Caterpillar (CAT), two American companies that could lose out from a trade war, climbed nearly 4%.

The head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde weighted in on Wednesday, warning that escalating tensions are putting the global trading system at risk.

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4. Interest rates watch: The US Labor Department will release its March consumer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve will follow with the minutes from its late March meeting at 1:00 p.m. ET. Investors fear that if inflation takes off, the central bank could raise interest rates faster than it plans to.

5. Earnings and economics: Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) will release earnings after the close.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, is expected to speak in Frankfurt at 6:00 a.m. ET.

UK construction output continued its recent decline, falling by 1.6% in February over the previous month. Manufacturing continued to grow on annual basis, but at slower pace than expected. The UK trade deficit widened.

Investors will be watching for new US crude inventories data at 10:30 a.m. ET.

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6. Coming this week:
Wednesday โ€” Zuckerberg testifies; Fed minutes; CPI; Bed Bath & Beyond earnings
Thursday โ€” BlackRock, Delta, Rite Aid earnings
Friday โ€” Citi, JPMorgan, PNC, Wells Fargo earnings

CNNMoney (London) First published April 11, 2018: 4:48 AM ET

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