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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for April 17

By Kim Khan

Investing.com - Some late buying today left the broader market higher and the Dow cutting losses to close slightly in the green.

But it was a tentative session of trading, with investors digesting what has been (jobless claims) with what could be (the economy reopening).

Details of the plan for reopening will come later tonight and have a big effect on Friday’s market tone.

There will also be earnings form the consumer product space and more data on what is happening with demand destruction for crude.

Here are three things that could move the market tomorrow.

1. Will Trump Recommendations Encourage Investors?

U.S. futures on Friday will be heavily influenced by what President Donald Trump has to say and what details he offers at his press conference on his plan to reopen the U.S. economy.

The press conference is expected to start at 6 PM ET (22:00 GMT).

Trump’s guidelines on reopening the U.S. economy, backed by medical experts on his coronavirus task force, will serve as recommendations for states, a senior White House official told Reuters.

"The president's new guidelines are in fact that. They are recommendations. They are flexible. They are data-driven," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"They are layered," the official said. "They are signed off on and in full agreement by the medical experts on the task force."


2. P&G Anxious to Report Earnings

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) headlines the earnings reports tomorrow, with investors looking for a dose of encouraging news after the dive in profits from banks.

P&G, which reports fiscal third-quarter results before the bell, has already given the market a reason to be bullish.

On Tuesday, the company said it would boost its dividend by 6% and also moved up its earnings date to tomorrow from April 21. P&G said the acceleration of the reporting should not be seen as positive or negative for results, but to report as quickly and transparently as possible, Briefing.com reported.

But bulls are betting on lots of panic-buying for brands like Charmin toiler paper and Bounty paper towels.

Analysts are looking for a profit of $1.12 per share and sales of about $17.2 billion, according to forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

Also reporting ahead of trading is oil services company Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB).

The company was downgraded by Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and Scotiabank this week as crude faces a huge drop in demand.

Schlumberger is seen posting a profit of 26 cents per share and revenue of about $7.6 billion.

3. Rig Count Could See Another Drop

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) also faces an environment where its customers are ramping down production.

The oil market will get more granular data on this when Baker Hughes releases its rig count tomorrow at 1 PM ET (17:00 GMT).

The oil rig count came in at 504 last week. It was up around 678 at the end of February.

WTI futures settled below $20 a barrel following another round of dour U.S. economic data and concerns about the cost and difficulty of storing oil.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.


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