A day after Obama's farewell address, President-elect Donald Trump is scheduled to host his first press conference in six months at 11 a.m. EST at Trump Tower in New York City.
U.S. stock futures were close to flat in the early hours of the morning. The major European and Asian indexes were slightly up. Bloomberg's dollar spot index was 0.45% higher.
Trump has been regularly making his views clear on Twitter, but this is the first time he will be taking questions from reporters at a formal news press conference since July.
He has promised to explain how he plans to avoid any conflict of interest with his business. According to The Hill, Democratic senators released a joint statement saying, "If President-elect Trump announces anything short of full and complete divestment at his press conference tomorrow he will leave a cloud of suspicion hanging over his administration." Trump will also have to answer to allegations of nepotism since he is expected to appoint his son-in-law to the post of senior adviser at the White House.
Investors are awaiting details regarding Trump's position on trade issues and the economy.
His campaign promises included imposing taxes on goods manufactured in other countries. The Chinese state media has warned that this would trigger a trade war that would cost America jobs. Recently Goldman Sachs' Chief Economist Jan Hatzius mentioned trade protectionism as one of the risks to the global economy in 2017. Business Insider reported he said, â€œRisk number one is associated with the transition to the Trump administration, a hard turn toward protectionism. Thatâ€™s certainly something we got our eye on that I think is a downside risk to the global economy." The World Bank has said that any benefits expected from Trump's tax cuts and investment will be offset by his aggressive trade policies. (See also: Intel CEO Wants Tax Cuts, Not a Trade War)
Trump has also asked Republicans to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and immediately replace it with another healthcare program. Details about how this is expected to happen haven't been forthcoming and reporters may attempt to probe.
The Senate cabinet confirmation hearings are currently underway, and he may take questions about some of the nominees. However, it's almost guaranteed his relationship with Russian leadership will cast a shadow on the event. Yesterday Buzzfeed News published a letter that claims the Russian government has information on Trump that can be used to blackmail him. The details in the letter are not confirmed, but according to several news outlets, U.S. intelligence has briefed the current administration and Trump about its existence. Trump has tweeted that the documents contain lies. Ironically Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil with strong ties with Russia who is up for the position of secretary of state, will attend his confirmation hearing today. (Trump's Cabinet: The Senate Confirmation Hearings Schedule)