Stocks – U.S. Futures Rise on Reports of Progress on China Trade Deal

© Reuters.

© Reuters. – U.S. futures were close to new highs for 2019 on Thursday, as the U.S. and China moved closer to ending their trade war, increasing the chance that the two sides can make a deal before a tariff increase on Chinese goods on March 1 comes into force.

The two largest economies in the world have made the most significant progress to date, outlining commitments in areas such as intellectual property rights, services, currency and agriculture barriers to trade, Reuters reported.

The news has helped crude oil futures extend their recent gains, by boosting prospects for Chinese, and consequently global, demand. Crude was up 0.44% at $57.41 a barrel, just 12c off last night’s new high for 2019.

Stocks too are touching new highs for the year. The S&P 500 futures rose 1 point or 0.06% as of 6:40 AM ET (11:40 GMT) while Dow futures gained rose 23 points or 0.09% and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures was up 14 points or 0.20%.

Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) was among the top gainers in premarket trading, rising 2.3% on news that it is acquiring Manitoba Harvest, a maker of hemp-based foods, in a $419 million deal. Tata Motors Limited ADR (NYSE:TTM) was up 2.1%, while Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) inched up 0.06% and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) gained 0.3%.

Elsewhere Vipshop Holdings Limited (NYSE:VIPS) slumped 7.5% after its fourth-quarter revenue missed expectations, while Carnival (NYSE:CCL) fell 1.7% and UBS (NYSE:UBS) declined 1.4%, continuing to suffer after a French court found it guilty of helping clients evade taxes.

The last batch of earnings this week include results from Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN), Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC), Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), among others.

On the economic front, durable goods orders for January come out at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT, along with jobless claims for last week and the monthly Philly Fed manufacturing survey.

Elsewhere the monthly survey of private-sector activity from IHS Markit is due at 9:45 AM ET (13:45GMT), while existing home sales data for January are due at 10:00AM ET (15:00 GMT).

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.75% to $1,337.75 a troy ounce. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.14% to 96.43.


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