US stocks seen lower after weak China trade data


U.S. stock index futures ticked lower on Tuesday, following European and Asian shares downwards, after weak trade data fueled growth concerns about China.

China’s dollar-denominated exports fell 3.7 percent in September from a year earlier, while imports plunged 20.4 percent to chalk up their eleventh consecutive month of decline, official data showed on Tuesday.

“Chinese exports were better-than-expected and imports were slightly worse, but both continued to decline in year-on-year terms,” IG’s market analyst, Angus Nicholson, said in a report on Tuesday.

“It was basically a fairly mixed report, but with last week’s impressive rally starting to look stretched, mixed Chinese data was taken as bad Chinese data.”

In the U.S., traders will await quarterly earnings from Dow Jones (.DJI) components, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Intel (INTC) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM).

S&P 500 (.SPX)-listed corporations are expected to post a 5.3 percent fall in third quarter 2015 earnings growth, the first third quarter decline in six years, according to consensus data from S&P Capital IQ. However, excluding the energy sector drag of a sharp -65.6 percent, S&P 500 earnings growth would be 2.7 percent.

On Tuesday, there will also be comments from James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who will become a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee in January. This comes after comments from various Fed members over the past couple of days, with the centrist Dennis Lockhart reiterating the case for an interest rate lift-off this year, while Lael Brainard called for no change given downside risks.

The day will also bring the Treasury budget for September, as well as a Democrat Presidential debate in the evening.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency reported Tuesday that global oil demand growth would slow in 2016, to 1.2 million barrels per day from 1.8 million in 2015. Brent (@LCO.1) and WTI (@CL.1) crude prices fell early on Tuesday after the report.

— By CNBC’s Katy Barnato, with contribution from See Kit Tang.

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