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This is a second favorable monthly report. In imports, -$2.3b crude oil (due to lower volumes) was partly offset by +$1.3b consumer goods (pharma, apparel, gems, toys). Oct oil deficit was -$19.1b, lowest since -$18b in Oct'09 so there might be some residual seasonality in the data. Exports gain was broad-based and reflected +$1.6b oil-related, +$735m foods to new record levels, +$430m autos, and gains in eqpt. NSA trade bal by country: with China -$25.5b vs -$27.8b Sept, Japan -$5.7b vs -$5b, OPEC -$5.7b vs -$8.9b. Shows Asia and oil remain problems. Oct real goods trade bal stands $4.6b narrower than the Q3 avg, suggesting perhaps a 0.5pt boost to GDP if sustained (more likely the booost will be less as Nov trade bal retraces).
Before the bell: U.S. stocks were poised to open slightly higher Friday, as investors digested the latest data on China's trade surplus and awaited the latest from Washington on the Obama-GOP tax cut deal.