The S&P 500 futures trade 12 points, or 0.4%, below fair value, as lingering trade tensions and some disappointing earnings results from the retailers weigh on sentiment. Investors will also pay heed to the latest FOMC minutes later today.
The White House, according to Bloomberg, is considering restricting up to five more Chinese companies from conducting business with U.S. companies without a license. The report comes after the U.S. recently granted Huawei a 90-day reprieve. On a related note, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said there are no planned trade talks with China.
The news also comes at an inopportune time for Qualcomm (QCOM 68.25, -9.50). Shares have dropped after 12.2% after a federal judge ruled the company's practices violate antitrust regulations. Qualcomm strongly disagreed with the ruling and will seek an expedited appeal.
In earnings news, retailers Lowe's (LOW 100.96, -10.14, -9.1%), Nordstrom (JWN 34.09, -3.76, -9.9%), and Urban Outfitters (URBN 25.35, -1.65, -6.1%) have all declined noticeably in pre-market action after disappointing investors with their results/guidance. Target (TGT 77.00, +5.04, +7.0%), however, has pleased investors with its results.
Separately, the Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET. Earlier, the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index rebounded 2.4% following a 0.6% decline in the prior week.
U.S. Treasuries have edged higher, pushing yields lower across the curve. The 2-yr yield is down two basis points to 2.22%, and the 10-yr yield is down three basis points to 2.40%. The U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.2% to 97.91. WTI crude is down 1.4% to $62.26/bbl.