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Wall Street set for strong open on Trump's upbeat trade comments

Kitco News

(Reuters) - U.S. stock futures jumped 0.9 percent on Wednesday, joining a global equities rally, as President Donald Trump’s encouraging comments fueled optimism over trade negotiations between the United States and China.

Trump, in an interview with Reuters, said trade talks with Beijing were taking place by phone and he would not hike tariffs on Chinese imports until he was sure about a deal.

He also said he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] if it would help secure a trade deal.

The comments set S&P 500 equity futures on course for their biggest one-day percentage jump since Dec. 3. The gains come a day after another volatile session ended with Wall Street finishing slightly lower following Trump’s threat to shut down the U.S. government and political uncertainty in Britain.

“There maybe some near-term optimism because of the trade headlines but we’ll see where it goes,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“We have seen a lot of intraday movement lately and we might see the same today and that’s a sign the market is looking at what the appropriate level should be.”

Trade-sensitive Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) and Boeing Co (BA.N) rose over 1.5 percent, while chipmakers advanced more than 1 percent in premarket trading.

Technology stocks also rose, with Dow components Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) gaining between 0.8 percent and 1.5 percent.

At 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 223 points, or 0.91 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 23.25 points, or 0.88 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 68.25 points, or 1.02 percent.

In the seven sessions in December, the three indexes have shed more than 4 percent in volatile trading, weighed down by fears over global growth, U.S.-China relations, interest rates and growing complications over Britain’s planned divorce from the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a no-confidence vote later in the day, triggered by Conservative lawmakers, with the result expected at 2100 GMT (4 p.m. ET).

“I’m surprised that the news on UK vote on May is not affecting the markets more,” Brown said.

Some early losers included Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), which fell 1.58 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the wireless carrier’s shares, expecting limited 5G revenues and increased competition.

Data showed U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in November, in line with expectations, due to a sharp decline in gasoline price but underlying inflation pressures remained firm amid rising rents and healthcare costs..

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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