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US pre-open: Futures point to losses as trade remains in focus

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Tuesday 10 Dec 2019

US pre-open: Futures point to losses as trade remains in focus

(Sharecast News) - US futures had stocks opening lower on Tuesday as market participants remained glued to their screens for any hint of fresh developments in the ongoing US-China trade war.
As of 1240 GMT, Dow futures were down 0.38%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures were 0.33% and 0.40% weaker, respectively.

The Dow closed 105.46 points lower on Monday as investors awaited further updates on US-China trade.

As far as Tuesday was concerned, the story was pretty much the same as during the prior session - with all eyes firmly focussed on US-Sino trade relations in the lead up to Sunday, when Washington was still set to slap another $156bn-worth of import tariffs on Chinese goods.

IG analyst Josh Mahony said: "With the 15 December deadline now just 5 days away, the relative quiet from the White House signals a growing likeliness that the trade war drags stocks lower yet again.

"While many believe that we will see that deadline delayed, the default option remains another ramp-up in tariffs, and thus markets had to take it into account soon enough."

Investors will also be looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting, set to conclude on Wednesday, with the central bank expected to keep interest rates steady, although analysts were curious to see if the latest very strong jobs data would be reflected in policymakers' forecasts for the economy.

On the data front, the National Federation of Independent Business' small business optimism survey rose 2.3 points in November to a four-month high of 104.7 - topping estimates of 103.

The figure marked the biggest climb in more than twelve months as more owners said profit trends appeared to be looking up amidst a favourable time for expansion.

Revised figures for third-quarter productivity and unit labour costs will be published at 1330 GMT.

In terms of corporate news, AutoZone, Designer Brands, Dave & Busters and GameStop will all report throughout the course of the day.

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