OffbeatUS stocks set to open slightly lower amid Iran sanctions, upcoming midterms

13:00  05 november  2018
13:00  05 november  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

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US stocks set to open slightly lower amid Iran sanctions, upcoming midterms© Andrew Burton/Getty Images U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Monday as investors turned focus to fresh sanctions on Iran and the upcoming midterm elections.

As of 4:22 a.m. ET, Dow futures slipped by 73 points, indicating a lower open of -64.83 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also dipped slightly.

Stocks were hit with a wild bout of volatility during Friday's trading session amid conflicting comments and reports on global trade. Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC there was "no massive movement to deal with China," contradicting an earlier report that Trump had asked officials to prepare a draft for a U.S.-China trade deal.

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On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his rhetoric against protectionism and commitment to free trade in a speech. Xi said his country was pursuing "a new round of high-standard opening up" to broaden market access to the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, another round of sanctions on Iran come into effect on Monday, and Iran has not taken kindly to Washington's economic pressure on the country. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly said on state television that the country will "continue to sell our oil ... to break sanctions," defying the U.S.

Upcoming midterm elections will likely be the main focus for investors this week, with U.S. voters heading to the polls on Tuesday. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Sunday, showed the Democrats leading with a 7 point advantage ahead of the vote. Trump is set to hold campaign rallies in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri on Monday.

On the earnings front, Booking Holdings and Occidental Petroleum are set to report earnings after the bell on Monday.

In economic data, services PMI and ISM non-manufacturing figures are due to be released today at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET respectively.

Iran defiant as US sanctions start without largest oil importers.
The Trump administration slapped tough U.S. sanctions on Iran's energy, banking and shipping industries Monday but granted waivers to the six largest importers of Iranian oil, leaving gaping holes in the White House effort to punish Tehran for what it considers regional terrorism. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said eight countries would be allowed to continue importing Iranian oil for the time being due to what he called "specific circumstances" and to ensure a stable global oil market. Most have scaled back imports and all are under pressure to find other suppliers.

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