U.S. stock futures reversed course and were heading lower Monday morning, after indications earlier had been pointing to new all-time highs at Wall Street's open for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. The mood in Beijing about a "phase one" trade deal is pessimistic due to President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs, which China believed the U.S. had agreed to, a government source told CNBC's Eunice Yoon.
Over the weekend, Chinese state media said Vice Premier Liu He had "constructive discussions" in a Saturday morning call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about a phase-one trade deal. On Friday, the Dow closed above 28,000 for the first time ever and logged weekly gains for the fourth straight week. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also set record highs Friday and notched six and seven weeks in a row of gains, respectively.
As China looks to complete a first-step trade agreement with the U.S., unrest in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong is escalating. On Monday, police stormed Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where anti-government protesters were holed up. Authorities fired rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes with demonstrators armed with firebombs and bows and arrows. China's Foreign Ministry said Monday that no one should underestimate China's will to protect its sovereignty. However, Beijing denies accusations of the mainland interfering in Hong Kong's affairs.
Shares of HP Inc. and Xerox were under pressure in Monday's premarket trading after the former's board of directors on Sunday unanimously rejected Xerox's $33 billion buyout offer. HP said the $22-per-share bid is not in the best interest of shareholders and undervalues HP, whose stock market value is more than three times that of Xerox. However, printer-maker HP left the door open to a deal in which it would buy copier-mainstay Xerox. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a 10.6% stake in Xerox, recently bought a $1.2 billion stake in HP. Icahn supports the idea of these two companies coming together.
WeWork is preparing to cut at least 4,000 jobs in a bid to achieve financial stability, and those layoffs could be announced this week, The New York Times reports. Last week, the office sharing start-up said it lost $1.25 billion on revenue of $934 million in the third quarter. Losses were up more than 150% from a year earlier. WeWork has faced a tumultuous few months, which saw its IPO scuttled and CEO Adam Neumann fired. Last month, the company received $5 billion rescue package from major investor SoftBank, through which the Japanese conglomerate took 80% ownership.
Ford is touting its all-electric Mustang Mach-E as a performance sport utility vehicle that will redefine the automaker's lineup and expand the iconic pony car name to a new generation of car buyers. The 2021 Mach-E, unveiled Sunday night in Los Angeles, is the first vehicle based on the company's new electric vehicle architecture as part of an $11 billion plan to develop 40 new all-electric and hybrid models by 2022. Pricing, performance and EV range for the Mach-E are expected to be comparable to Tesla's upcoming Model Y SUV. The Mach-E, depending on the model, is expected to get 210 miles and at least 300 miles per charge. The starting pricing, excluding federal tax incentives, will range from about $43,895 for the base model to roughly $60,500 for the GT.