1. Trump talks with China, Japan: Investors are feeling optimistic as it seems President Trump may be toning down his rhetoric towards China.
Trump committed to honoring the “One China” policy in a phone call on Thursday evening with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Trump had previously upended decades of diplomatic protocol by taking a phone call with Taiwan’s president.
Market commentators said Trump’s acknowledgment of the “One China” policy is a positive move.
This “matters to investors because if China can bring about a change like this, it may succeed in softening other U.S. policy positions,” said Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management.
Trump is due to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later Friday at the White House.
2. Global stock market overview: Global stock markets are mostly positive right now. Investors are cheering a report showing China saw strong growth in imports and exports in January.
In the U.S., investors are getting excited after White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Thursday that Trump is preparing “a comprehensive [tax] plan, something that we haven’t seen since 1986.”
The remarks are fueling expectations that tax cuts for individuals and businesses are coming soon.
3. Oil prices pop: Crude oil futures are getting a boost after the International Energy Agency said major oil producing nations are largely fulfilling their pledge to slash production.
Members in the oil cartel OPEC promised to slash production late last year. But there were doubts about whether all the countries would follow through.
The IEA report should reduce those doubts, at least for now.
Crude prices are now roughly double where they stood a year ago.
4. Condoms and baby formula: British conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser(, which owns consumer brands like Durex, has agreed to buy an infant formula maker, )Mead Johnson Nutrition(. )
The total value of the transaction, including debt, will be $ 17.9 billion. The companies said earlier this month that they were in talks about a deal.
Reckitt Benckiser will pay $ 90 in cash for each Mead Johnson Nutrition share, well above Thursday’s closing price.
5. Consumer confidence: The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for February is set to be released at 10 a.m. ET. This is a preliminary reading and is later updated as the month progresses.
The January sentiment reading was the highest in the last 12 years and marked a slight uptick from December.
6. Coming this week:
Friday – Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe