Day trading pre-market open April 18

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    Morning traders. Thanks loungers, especially @Ravgnome.

    Outlook for the day: Positive as commodity price gains help offset another losing night on Wall Street. Domestic jobs data will provide fresh direction from mid-morning.

    ASX futures: up 20 points or 0.26%

    Overnight themes
    • US stocks fall as corporate earnings mostly disappoint and investors continue to readjust for the prospect that interest rate cuts are much further off than the market believed a few short weeks ago.
    • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite decline for a fourth straight night, their longest losing run since January. The Dow retreats for the 11th time in the last 13 sessions.
    • Stocks open higher for a third night, but again fail to sustain their gains. Previously high-flying megacap stocks drive the retreat. AI poster child Nvidia loses 3.87%. Apple, Microsoft, Meta and Netflix also decline as traders sell rate-sensitive tech and real estate stocks.
    • Travelers is the biggest drag on the Dow and a significant weight on the S&P 500, plunging 7.41% after missing Q1 profit expectations. Other earnings disappointments include Abbott Labs -3.03%, Prologis -7.19%, Bancorp -3.61% and JB Hunt Transport Services -8.12%. United Airlines soars 17.45%.
    • The major indices are on track for a third straight losing week as financial markets reset expectations for interest rates. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned on Tuesday that sticky inflation meant the central bank might have to be patient. The odds on a June rate cut have shrunk to 16.8% from above 60% last month.
    • "The markets are dealing with a couple things: inflation is hotter than most expect, rate cut expectations are coming down and we've had a ramp higher in geopolitical tensions, particularly out of the Middle East. It's just an excuse for traders to kind of move to the sidelines and markets to kind of take a breath after a really, really strong five months of gains" - Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial (per Reuters).
    • The two sectors most important to the ASX outperform in the US. Materials and financials both gain around 0.2%. Utilities and consumer staples also advance. The tech sector loses 1.71%. Real estate is the night's other major pressure spot, shedding 0.8%.
    • Iron ore surges back above US$120 a metric ton to a five-week high amid speculation about steel-makers restocking ahead of the May Day holiday. Benchmark ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange climbs 4.25% to US$120.20. Australian producers Rio Tinto and BHP record solid gains in overnight trade on overseas bourses.
    • A retreat in the US dollar aids dollar-denominated commodity prices. Nickel regains US$18,000 per metric ton. Copper and other industrial metals also advance, regaining ground lost earlier in the week following weak Chinese factory activity.
    • Oil slides to its lowest in three weeks after US crude stockpiles increase for a fourth week. Brent crude tumbles 3.03%.
    • The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases March employment data at 11.30 am AEST that is expected to moderate some of last month's unexpectedly strong jobs figures. The jobless rate is tipped by economists by rise from 3.7% to 3.9% as the economy adds 7,200 jobs. The market was stunned last month as a 116,500 jump in total employment slashed the jobless rate from 4.1% to 3.7%.

    Key events today:
    • March employment report - 11.30 am AEST
    • Quarterly business confidence - 11.30 am
    • US earnings season - tonight

    S&P 500: down 29 points or 0.58%

    Dow: down 65 points or 0.17%

    : down 182 points or 1.15%

    Dollar: up 0.42% to 64.39 US cents

    Iron ore (Dalian): up 4.25% to US$120.20

    Brent crude
    : down US$2.73 or 3.03% to US$87.29

    : down US$19.40 or 0.8% to US$2,338.40

    NYSE Arca Gold Bugs: up 1.33%

    Bitcoin: down 2.99% to US$60,841

    Copper (LME): up 0.87% to US$9,550

    Nickel (LME): up 1.43% to US$18,100

    Uranium (spot price): down 0.16% to US$90.75

    Lithium carbonate (China spot): steady at US$15,376

    Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF: up 0.96%

    BHP: up 2.55% (US); up 3.41% (UK)

    Rio Tinto: up 1.66% (US); up 2.55% (UK)
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