Wall Street slides as earnings season starts

US index futures are suggesting the week will start on the back foot as disappointing trade data from China overnight served to reignite fears of a global economic slowdown. That said, losses are currently forecast as being limited, with a weakening dollar making US equities that bit more attractive to overseas buyers.

Economic data is looking incredibly limited for the day ahead, although earnings season continues to gain momentum so this could provide some fresh insight as to the health of corporate America. Citigroup headlines before the opening bell today, but with a string of companies already cautioning over performance, expectations in general will be weighted to the downside. Beyond this is the ongoing shut down of the US government owing to the stand off regarding Trump's ambition to build a wall between the US and Mexico. With the closure now the longest on record and Federal employees having gone without receiving paycheques on Friday, this will be starting to bite into the economy. Some estimates suggest the shut down is costing around $1.2 billion a week, so the total so far is already closing in on the cost of building the wall. Any hopes of a resolution here would likely be widely applauded, with equities and the dollar alike both having the potential to see gains as a result.

Ahead of the open we're calling the DOW down 184 at 23812 and the S&P down 11 at 2575

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