MONDAY – U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday on a report that U.S. and China are getting close to a trade deal.
This morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 65 points, indicating a gain of more than 70 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also slightly higher.
The Wall Street Journal reported that China had proposed to bring down duties on certain American goods in an attempt to strike a deal with the U.S. The same report suggested both countries are at the final stage of their negotiations, which could see the country’s leaders meeting at a special summit to sign a trade deal soon.
The Trump administration touted last week significant progress being made in U.S. negotiations with China. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday the two sides were getting closer.
The back-and-forth on trade between the two countries has sent ripples through financial markets since last year, with investors fretting how tighter trade conditions could impact corporate profits.
On the economic front, there will be construction spending figures out at 10 a.m. ET.
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U.S. stock index futures pointed to a strong open on Friday, as Wall Street looked to build on its best start to a year in nearly 30 years.
At around 8:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of more than 170 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also up.
The major indexes posted solid monthly gains in February, pushing the S&P 500 to its best start to a year since 1991. The S&P 500 is up more than 11 percent for 2019, along with the Dow. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, is up 13.5 percent.
Decreasing trade tensions between China and the U.S., along with a declining fears of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, helped propel stocks higher.
Market participants are likely to closely monitor a fresh batch of economic data on Friday. Personal income, consumer spending and core PCE figures for December and January will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET.
Manufacturing PMI, ISM manufacturing, and consumer sentiment data are all expected to follow later in the session.
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THURSDAY – Stocks were little changed at Thursday’s open as stronger-than-expected economic data were offset by talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un falling through.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just 11 points while the S&P 500 dipped around 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2 percent.
The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the economy to grow at a pace of 2.2 percent.
Investors were closely watching the summit in Vietnam as it could potentially impact trade negotiations between China and the U.S.
On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified in front of House members that China needed to do more than just buy more U.S. goods for the two countries to strike a permanent trade deal. But Lighthizer said after the testimony, according to The Wall Street Journal, that formal steps would be taken to abandon plans of raising tariffs on Chinese goods.
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Chinese police have arrested 21 people involved in the operation of peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Ezubao, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday, over an online scam it said took in some 50 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) from about 900,000 investors.
Ezubao was a Ponzi scheme, the Xinhua report said, and more than 95 percent of the projects on the online financing platform were fake.
Among those arrested were Ding Ning, the chairman of Yucheng Group, which launched Ezubao in July 2014.
It was not possible to reach Ezubao officials for comment and it was not clear if Ding had legal representation.