Wall St. set to bounce on signs of trade progress

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday on signs of progress in the ongoing trade talks between the United States and China.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Top trade negotiators from the two countries haggled over the details of a set of agreements aimed at ending their trade war, just one week before a Washington-imposed deadline for a deal expires and triggers higher U.S. tariffs.

President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are expected to meet at the Oval Office later in the day.

The benchmark S&P 500 index’s recent run of gains was halted on Thursday after a batch of grim economic data, including a surprise fall in new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods. However, the index is still at more than two-month highs.

“The market has shifted from economic worries encountered yesterday to the possibility of a breakthrough in the trade talks,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“We’re recovering from yesterday’s sell-off and the main focus is trade.”

At 8:26 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 119 points, or 0.46 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.75 points, or 0.39 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 34 points, or 0.48 percent.

Shares of trade-sensitive companies such as Boeing Co rose 0.6 percent and Caterpillar Inc 0.8 percent in premarket trading.

Crude prices also rose on hopes that Washington and Beijing may soon end their trade dispute. Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp were up 0.6 percent each. [O/R]

Kraft Heinz Co shares tumbled 26.4 percent after the company posted a quarterly loss, disclosed an SEC probe and wrote down the value of its iconic Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands. Shares of rivals General Mills, Conagra Brands and Kellogg Co fell between 2.4 percent and 4.2 percent.

Intel Corp was up 2.6 percent after Morgan Stanley lifted its rating to “overweight,” citing the chipmaker’s appointment of a new CEO.

Newmont Mining Corp rose 4.3 percent after a report that Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp was considering a hostile bid for the company for about $19 billion.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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