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Futures tick higher on hopes of U.S.-China trade talks

2018-09-14 20:16    Investing

Futures tick higher on hopes of U.S.-China trade talks Stock News

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday amid optimism that the United States and China would start new trade talks and as technology stocks rose.

Beijing on Thursday welcomed an invitation from Washington for a fresh round of talks. But the timing of the proposed talks remains unclear, with President Donald Trump saying that the United States was under no pressure to make a deal.

Investors have cheered the efforts to defuse trade tensions, sending stocks higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Thursday 1.8 percent below its all-time high, hit on Jan. 26.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which led the market on Thursday, were up 0.3 percent in premarket trading. The iPhone maker has said a "wide range" of its products could be hit by tariffs.

Other heavyweight stocks such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) were up between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent.

At 7:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.18 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.5 points, or 0.19 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 28.25 points, or 0.37 percent.

Chipmakers, which also rely on Chinese customers for a major chunk of revenue, also rose. Micron and Nvidia were up more than 1.5 percent and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) gained 0.5 percent.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) fell 0.8 percent after Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) raised questions around the retailer's purchase of a majority stake in India's Flipkart.

NiSource (NYSE:NI) tumbled 9 percent after fire investigators suspected the "over-pressurization of a gas main" belonging the utility's unit, Columbia Gas, caused a series of gas explosions in Boston suburbs.

A bunch of economic data is expected later in the day, with a monthly report on U.S. retail sales due at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Commerce Department is likely to report a 0.4 percent rise in sales August, from an increase of 0.5 percent the month before.

The Federal Reserve is set to publish industrial production data at 9:15 a.m. ET, which is expected to have climbed 0.3 percent in August after a 0.1 percent rise in July.

The Fed tends to look at capacity use measures for signals of how much "slack" remains in the economy — how far growth has room to run before it becomes inflationary.

The University of Michigan U.S. September consumer sentiment index is expected at 10 a.m. ET.


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