By Shreyashi Sanyal
Dec 5 (Reuters) – U.S.stocks looked set to open higher on Thursday on brighter hopes of a preliminary trade deal between the United States and China.
Headlines around trade suggested the world’s two largest economies were closer to agreeing how many tariffs would be rolled back in a “phase one” trade deal, while President Donald Trump said talks with China were going “very well”.
Wall Street’s main indexes snapped a three-day losing streak in the previous session on growing expectations of a trade deal, blowjob putting the benchmark S&P 500 index just 1% away from an all-time high hit last week.
“There doesn’t seem to be any increased negative talk about China so I guess the absence of that is allowing markets to drift higher,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.
“In fact, it feels like both sides understand that reducing some of the tariffs is what needs to happen.”
However, if no agreement is reached soon, more tariffs on Chinese goods will kick in from Dec.15.
Shares of tariff-sensitive semiconductor companies looked set to rise for the second straight day, with Micron Technology Inc, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and Nvidia Corp gaining about 1% each in premarket trading.
At 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 79 points, or 0.29%.S&P 500 e-minis were up 8 points, or 0.26% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 29.75 points, or 0.36%.
Investors also seemed to shrug off Wednesday’s lackluster readings on domestic services sector activity and private payrolls growth as they await the Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls data due Friday.U.S. trade deficit dropped to its lowest level in nearly 1-1/2 years in October, data showed on Thursday.
Among stocks, Dollar General Corp gained about 2.7% after the discount store chain raised its full-year profit forecast.
Nike Inc shares climbed 2% after a report said Goldman Sachs upgraded the sportswear maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”.
Kroger Co dropped 2% as the supermarket chain reported a 17% fall in quarterly profit.(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)