Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. US-China Trade Talks to Resume

The U.S. and China are set to resume trade talks Thursday against the backdrop of rising optimism that discussions could pave the way to at least a little progress on trade.

China does not expect this week’s talks to lead to a meaningful agreement, but it is open to the idea of a “partial deal,” Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

Beijing reportedly could give into some non-core concessions such as more purchases of agriculture goods like soybeans. But it is not willing to budge on key points that have dogged trade talks for months such as subsidies for Chinese companies or the “forced technology transfers” that require U.S. companies – seeking entry into China – to partner with a local company.

The talks come as trade tensions flared earlier this week when the U.S. blacklisted 28 Chinese organisations and accused them of human-rights violations against ethnic Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province.

The ban was likely a tactic to ramp up pressure on China ahead of the talks, though it unlikely “negates the possibility of a partial agreement from the two countries,” Nomura said in a note to clients.

2. Retail Inflation, Jobless Claims Due

Market participants look ahead to the release of consumer inflation data due Thursday at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).

Economists forecast that the rose 0.1% in September, the same as the month before. The , which excludes volatile food and energy price, is expected to have slowed to a rise of 0.2% from 0.3% a month earlier.

Economists expect the to rise to 1.8% and to stay unchanged at 2.4%.

The consumer inflation comes a a day after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the pace of inflation has been firming in recent months, though it remained somewhat below the central bank’s 2% target.

The weekly report on initial jobless claims is also due at 8:30 AM ET.

are expected to dip to 215,000 from 219,000 in the prior week, according to a forecast of economists polled by

3. Delta Flies in Q3 Earnings

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:) is set to report earnings before the markets open on Thursday.

Ahead of the results, Delta last week saw its shares fall sharply after revealing that costs were increasing at a faster pace than expected.

Despite the recent update, the earnings report will be carefully parsed for commentary on fourth-quarter guidance and forecasts about capacity next year.

The return of Boeing’s (NYSE:) 737 MAX jets next year is expected to ramp up global capacity, raising worries that airfares could come under pressure.

Delta is expected to earnings of $2.28 per share on revenue of $12.7 billion.

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