Trump's combative State of the Union 'left traders empty-handed' — markets are mixed as investors await GM earnings, Fed

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • US futures were edging lower Wednesday morning. Traders had little to digest in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and were awaiting new comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
  • European markets fell after weak earnings from BNP Paribas and Daimler. UK purchasing managers’ index data was poor, as were German factory orders.
  • The Australian dollar plunged 1% after Australia’s central bank opened the door to a rate cut. Many markets in Asia remain closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Markets were mixed early Wednesday in their response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address while investors shifted their attention to any signs for the economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

European shares sank lower after disappointing results from BNP Paribas and Daimler. The Australian dollar plunged 1% after Australia’s central bank opened the door to a rate cut. Many markets in Asia remain closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

“Whilst the president touched on Chinese trade relations and the budget there was nothing new for traders to sink their teeth into,” said Jasper Lawler, the head of research at London Capital Group. “Those that had been hoping that Trump would offer fresh trade news with China were left empty-handed.”

  • GM is among companies reporting earnings Wednesday.
  • Powell is due to speak at a town-hall meeting in Washington on Wednesday.
  • US futures were trading marginally down, while Asian trading saw Japanese and Australian stocks gain slightly in subdued trading during the Lunar New Year celebrations.
  • German factory-order data declined 1.6% in December in yet another mark against the eurozone economy, leading the DAX down 0.5% as of 8:40 a.m. in London (3:40 a.m. in New York).
  • In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 and the FTSE 100 were down 0.3%. The pound struggled after weak UK purchasing managers’ index data battered sentiment during an increasingly fraught Brexit process.
  • Markets are closed in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and New Zealand.
  • US markets on Tuesday closed up following strong results from Disney and Estée Lauder.

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