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Stocks look perky; Trump travels to Saudi Arabia; Deere earnings


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1. Calm returns: Stock markets are ticking along nicely on Friday after some nerve-wracking volatility earlier this week.

U.S. stock futures are steady and the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) — better known as the Vix — has dipped back down.

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European markets are all rising in early trading, with many up by about 0.5%. Asian markets closed the week with a quiet session.

This calmness is in direct contrast to the frenzied selling seen on Wednesday, inspired by various scandals coming out of the White House.

The Dow ended with a 373 point loss that day — about a 1.8% decline. It was the Dow’s biggest drop since September.

However, stocks are still trading near record highs as corporate earnings have been strong and consumer confidence remains solid.

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2. Let’s get political: Investors will be monitoring political developments around the world Friday.

Turmoil in Brazil caused markets to drop sharply on Thursday. The Bovespa index closed down nearly 9% after new bribery allegations surfaced against Brazil’s president, Michel Temer.

One of the country’s biggest newspapers accused him of paying a former Senate colleague hush money. Temer said he “never authorized payments to anyone to stay quiet.”

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court officially opened an investigation against the 75-year-old leader, who only took office last September following the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.

On the other side of the world, Iran is having an election. President Hassan Rouhani is seeking a second term in the face of conservative opposition.

Rouhani was a key architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S., the EU and other partners. The election is being seen in part as a referendum on that deal, which has so far yielded mixed economic results for Iranians.

And President Trump is departing on his first international trip on Friday, starting in Saudi Arabia. Then he’ll go on to visit Israel and global summits in Italy and Belgium.

3. Earnings and economics: Campbell Soup (CPB), Deere (DE) and Foot Locker (FL) are set to release earnings before the opening bell Friday.

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4. Coming this week:

Friday Foot Locker (FL), Campbell Soup (CPB) and Deere (DE) earnings

CNNMoney (London) First published May 19, 2017: 4:47 AM ET



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