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Top 5 Things to Know in The Market on Thursday

Investing.com -- Here are the top 5 things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, April 18.

1. It's Mueller Time

Today sees the publication of a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election campaign.

Justice Department officials will deliver the report to Congress sometime between 11 AM ET (1500 GMT) and noon, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Attorney-General William Barr will hold a press conference at 09:30 AM, before either Congress or the public has seen the report.

2. Stocks Set to Open Lower; Zoom, Pinterest Price IPOs Above Range

U.S. markets are set to open lower Thursday after weak purchasing manager index reports in Europe and against a backdrop of mixed news from the high-profile Zoom and Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) IPOs.

At 5:30 AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 68 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 futures had lost 5 points, or 0.2%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures were off 16 points, or 0.2%.

Image-sharing social media company Pinterest was set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange a day after it raised approximately $1.4 billion in its initial public offering. That was above the top end of its range but still well below the valuation implicit in its last private funding round.

Videoconferencing company Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) was also to start trading after it raised $751.3 million in its IPO.

Read more : IPO Preview: Rarest Of Tech Unicorns, Pinterest Is Almost Profitable - Clement Thibault

3. Philip Morris, Union Pacific and Amex to Report 1Q

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) and Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) head the billing in earnings season today, while American Express (NYSE:AXP), Danaher (NYSE:DHR) and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) also report ahead of the open. Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) will chip in after the closing bell.

In Europe earlier, consumer giants Nestle (OTC:NSRGY) and Unilever (NYSE:UL) both posted stronger-than-expected sales growth in the first quarter. The Swiss company’s shares hit a new all-time high in response.

By contrast, pipeline giant Kinder Morgan ’s revenue fell some 8% short of expectations when it reported after the closing bell on Wednesday.

4. Retail Sales Expected to Rebound

U.S. retail sales data, due at 08:30 AM ET (1230 GMT) are expected to show a rebound of 0.9% in March after a sharp drop in February.

Data on jobless claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index are due at the same time.

Also on the docket, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is to speak at 12 PM ET (16:00 GMT).

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Wednesday that the U.S. central bank may still be able to raise rates once this year and once in 2020.

Earlier in the day, the flash reading for the composite Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index showed that growth in the bloc slowed in April for the second straight month.

5. Return of the Rocket Man

North Korea said it test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” ending a moratorium on weapons tests that it had observed since November 2017 and reviving concerns about the Communist country’s ambitions.

There was no indication that the weapon used nuclear material. All the same, the dollar rose 0.5% against the Korean Won, while the benchmark KOSPI stock index fell 1.4%.

The report took the gloss off news that the U.S. and China were looking to agree on a trade deal by early May with a view to a presidential sign-off at the end of next month.


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