U.S. stock futures were indicating a bounce at Tuesday's open on Wall Street after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 767 points, or 2.9%, on concerns about the U.S.-China trade war also becoming a currency war. When futures trading opened Monday evening, the sharp losses were continuing. But around 3:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures turned positive as investors took solace in China allowing its currency to rise, setting it below 7 yuan per dollar, after letting it to drop Monday to its lowest level in more than a decade. The Dow, looking to break a five-session losing streak, was 6% below its record high as of Monday's close.
China's state newspaper accused the United States of "deliberately destroying international order," one day after President Donald Trump's administration branded Beijing a currency manipulator in their rapidly escalating trade war. The Treasury's "currency manipulator" declaration was the first such designation in 25 years all the way back to the Bill Clinton presidency. China also confirmed earlier reports that it was suspending the purchases of U.S. agricultural products.
Escalating trade-war tensions sent investors rushing to the relative safety of the bond market late last week, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which mortgage rates loosely follow, down sharply. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage hit 3.7% on Friday, the lowest since November 2016, according to Mortgage News Daily. That rate will likely dip even lower, if bond yields continue to fall. The drop last week meant that 8.2 million 30-year mortgage holders could likely qualify for a refinance and save at least 0.75% off their current interest rate by doing so, according to Black Knight, a mortgage software and analytics company.
The previous four heads of the Federal Reserve called for an independent central bank in the face of repeated attacks by Trump in an extraordinary joint commentary for The Wall Street Journal. "We are united in the conviction that the Fed and its chair must be permitted to act independently and in the best interests of the economy, free of short-term political pressures and, in particular, without the threat of removal or demotion of Fed leaders for political reasons," stated the op-ed, signed by Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen.
After months of anticipation, Apple has invited some select customers to apply for its Apple Card. CEO Tim Cook previously said during its third quarter earnings call that the new credit card, released in partnership with Goldman Sachs, would be out in August. The Apple Card is part of Apple's broader push to expand its services business and boost its services revenue from its 1.4 billion active Apple devices. For Goldman, it's an opportunity to expand its reach into retail banking. Mastercard will be providing the payment network for the Apple card.