1. Stock futures rally after report says China will ramp up U.S. farm product purchases
Stock futures rallied on Friday morning after Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that China plans to accelerate its purchases of U.S. agricultural products to comply with the phase one deal reached in January. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up more than 200 points, or 0.9%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.8% along with Nasdaq-100 futures. Wall Street was also on pace for solid weekly gains.
2. EU kicks off stimulus negotiations
German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, who attends via video link, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on May 18, 2020 on the effects of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.Kay Nietfeld | AFP | Getty Images
The 27 countries in the European Union started on Friday negotiations over a 750 billion euro stimulus proposal aimed at mitigating the economic blow from the coronavirus. The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, expects the region’s economy to contract by 7.4% in 2020. “Our ultimate goal is to reach a deal as soon as possible,” said European Council President Charles Michel.
3. Coronavirus infections continue to rise, several states report record increases
Private First Class Armon Ramirez from the Texas National Guard is given hand sanitizer after testing people for COVID-19 in the parking lot of Memorial Swimming Pool on May 18, 2020 in El Paso, Texas.Paul Ratje | AFP | Getty Images
The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in the U.S., with California, Arizona and Florida among those reporting record infection spikes. The rising number of cases comes as states ease quarantine restrictions and businesses resume operations. Movie theater chain AMC, for example, said it would open all U.S. locations by July 24. To be sure, the uptick in new cases coincides with increased testing.
4. China charges detained Canadians, alleges espionage
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the State dinner with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec, September 22, 2016.Lars Hagberg | AFP | Getty Images
Chinese authorities charged two detained Canadians, alleging espionage, as tensions between the two countries grow. Canada called the arrests, which took place in late 2018, “arbitrary.” The two Canadian men were also arrested after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei Technologies, in 2018.
5. Alibaba and JD.com sales record at China event
Alibaba founder Jack Ma attends the 5th World Zhejiang Entrepreneurs Convention at Hangzhou International Expo Centre on November 13, 2019 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China.VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Alibaba and JD.com handled $136.51 billion in sales through their respective platforms on Thursday during 618, one of China’s biggest shopping events. Known as 618 because it falls June 18, the event was closely monitored for signs over the health of the Chinese consumer as the country tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.