Happy Thursday. A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business' Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.
Global stocks are pushing higher on real, concrete trade war news: The United States and China have agreed to return to the negotiating table. In-person talks will take place in Washington in early October, according to China's Commerce Ministry.
The scene: After weeks of doom and gloom, hope is growing that geopolitical tensions weighing on markets could ease. It's not just about China.
The United Kingdom looks less likely to crash out of the European Union without a deal to protect trade. The pound has bounced back from a three-year low. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has fully withdrawn the controversial extradition bill that spurred months of protests in the city's streets, boosting the Hang Seng index.
"The culmination of these factors is pushing risky assets higher today," said Jeroen Blokland, portfolio manager at Robeco, an asset manager based in the Netherlands.
US stock futures indicate a second day of gains.
Even so, Blokland told me that it's premature to throw caution to the wind. After all, the trade situation has quickly deteriorated before.
Robeco, which has roughly $205 billion in assets under management, has been underweight on equities for about six weeks. This is not the moment to change that guidance, per Blokland.
"It's not enough at this point to change anything big in your portfolio," he said.
Investor insight: Markets will have plenty to chew over in the coming days. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing survey arrives Thursday morning. It will be closely watched for signs that global manufacturing weakness is spilling over into the US services sector.
Jobs data on Friday could also be a flash point. James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, says the bleak ISM manufacturing report earlier this week could point to the first contraction in manufacturing jobs growth in three years.
Then there are the September meetings of the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve. Blokland still expects both central banks to cut interest rates slightly. But he thinks the language policymakers could use may disappoint investors, who are looking for signs of bigger rate cuts down the line.
In short: Thursday is risk-on, but the euphoria could be short-lived.
Slack's Wall Street honeymoon is over
Slack's first earnings report as a public company is out. Investors don't love it.
Indications of slower growth sent shares of the workplace communications app down nearly 15% in premarket trading.
From my CNN Business colleague Clare Duffy in New York: "Slack reported revenue of $145 million in the quarter, an increase of 58% from the same period a year earlier. That was slower than the 67% growth it generated in the first three months of its fiscal year."
The company also now expects total revenue for the year to increase by 51% to 52%. That's a notable decline from last year, when revenue grew by 82%.
Remember: Slack remains unprofitable, like many of its Silicon Valley peers. The company's stock had already dropped nearly 20% since it started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in June.
Big picture: Uber and Lyft have met a similar fate. Despite much-hyped IPOs, shares of both companies are trading more than 30% below their IPO prices and hit record lows this week. But that doesn't mean unprofitable Silicon Valley companies will stop tapping public markets. WeWork, for one, is moving full steam ahead.
The lowest interest rates in 5,000 years
We often point out that interest rates are at historic lows. New research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch makes a more dramatic point: The 2020s will begin with the lowest interest rates in 5,000 years.
Notable for a chart that goes all the way back to 3000 B.C., the report states that central banks around the world have cut interest rates 731 times since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Since 2009, the world's five big central banks have purchased $12.4 trillion in assets as well.
As central banks prepare for more cuts and fresh bond-buying, these statistics serve as an important reminder: we are truly living through unprecedented events.
Cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, a Wall Street favorite since its IPO in June, will report earnings after US markets close.
- The ADP employment report for August arrives at 8:15 a.m. ET.
- That's followed by US factory orders for July and the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for August. Both will post at 10 a.m. ET.
Coming tomorrow: Time for the August US jobs report, the week's biggest release.