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Stocks tumble over US-China trade, Superdry rebounds post profit warning

Stocks have endured a major sell-off this morning as trade tensions between the US and China have ratcheted up. 

President Trump claims that China’ broke the deal’, and traders have taken that as a sign that the relationship between Washington DC and Beijing is going to get worse. Trade discussions between the two sides will continue today, but investors aren’t holding out much hope. Mr Trump is not a man to back down, and it looks likely that this trade spat will move to the next level.    

Superdry shares saw a lot of volatility on the open after the fashion house issued its third profit warning in 12 months. The group had a largely poor performance for the 13 weeks until late April, as wholesale and online sales dropped by 9.3% and 3.9% respectively. It is worrying that online sales fell, seeing as e-commerce has been on the rise in recent years. Today’s update mapped out some steps to help steer the company in the right direction, and the firm intends to cut back on unnecessary discounting and increase the number of products available online. Despite a sharp sell-off on the open, the stock is now higher on the day.

Unicredit revealed a respectable set of first-quarter results. Net profit increased by 24.7% to €1.39 billion, which topped the €1.29 billion forecast, and loan impairments were €468 million, which undershot the forecast of €553 million. The bank has major exposure to the Italian government bond market, and it intends to reduce its portfolio through run-offs. The group confirmed it is on track to achieve its 2019 targets. Today’s upbeat update might renew speculation about a possible tie-up between Unicredit and Commerzbank.

IMI shares are in the red after the company said it expects first-half organic revenue and profit to be lower when compared with last year. The group cautioned that first-quarter trading conditions were mixed, just like the final-quarter of last year. The company is a little more optimistic in its full-year outlook, and it predicts it will benefit from ongoing restructuring.

Disney will be in focus today after the company announced positive figures last night. EPS came in at $1.61, which topped the $1.58 forecast, and revenue increased by 3% to $14.92 billion, and the consensus estimate was $14.36 billion. Disney+ will be launched later this year and it will be a rival to Netflix, given the rise in streaming TV, this is likely to become a closely watched component of the business.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open 132 points lower at 25,835 and we are calling the S&P 500 down 15 points at 2,864.


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