Futures up on hopes of fresh trade talks, tech rebound

Wall Street slowed by trade tensions
September 14, 2018
Apple, Amazon lead Wall Street lower as tariffs loom
September 17, 2018

Futures up on hopes of fresh trade talks, tech rebound

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Sept 13 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday as trade worries softened after China said it was open to fresh talks with the United States and technology stocks showed signs of a bounce-back.

Even as Washington is preparing to slap tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, the Trump administration on Wednesday invited Chinese officials to restart talks, although it is unclear when these talks could happen.

“A positive opening should be expected as a proposal on new trade talks with China are lifting investors spirits,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Shares of U.S.-listed Chinese firms also rose. Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu gained about 2 percent.

Apple was up 0.8 percent, after a 1.2 percent drop on Wednesday when it unveiled its largest-ever iPhone, but made just minor changes to its offerings as was expected.

At 7:23 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 63 points, or 0.24 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.25 points, or 0.22 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 29.25 points, or 0.39 percent.

U.S. consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in August after a 0.2 percent rise in July, a Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. ET is likely to show, pointing to firming inflation that will keep the Federal Reserve on track to gradually raise interest rates.

Twitter was up 1.4 percent and Alphabet 0.5 percent. Their shares, along with four other major web and internet companies, including Apple, fell on Wednesday after they were asked to detail their consumer data privacy practices to a U.S. Senate panel on Sept. 26.

Qualcomm rose 2.5 percent after the U.S. chipmaker said it would buy back about $16 billion of its stock as part of a previously announced $30 billion repurchase plan.

Chipmakers also rebounded after a slide on Wednesday, with Intel up 0.87 percent and Micron 1.3 percent.