US STOCKS-Wall Street eyes tepid opening as political woes loom

By Ambar Warrick and bokep SMA Medha Singh

Sept 26 (Reuters) – U.S.stock index futures pared early gains on Thursday as investors assessed fresh developments related to an inquiry for the impeachment President Donald Trump.

A U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released a declassified version of a whistleblower report alleging that President Donald Trump used his office to solicit interference in the 2020 presidential election from a foreign country.

The S&P 500 fell as much 1.1% on Tuesday on news that U.S.Democrats were planning an impeachment inquiry, but recovered on Wednesday after Trump hinted at a sooner-than-expected trade deal with China. The benchmark index closed about 1.4% shy of its record high hit in late-July.

Beijing said on Thursday it was in close communication with the United States and was preparing to make progress with their trade talks in October.

“We need something like a trade deal to get through. Without that we are just going to bounce around here where you if get some bad political news, it sells off,” said Kim Forrest, Chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

“Late in the day yesterday President Trump said we could get a trade deal with China and that’s always a formula for markets going up and we might have some overhang from that.”

Forrest also noted that fitness startup Peloton Interactive Inc’s top-end priced IPO could add some “pep” to markets.

Trade-sensitive chipmakers rose in premarket trading, with Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Micron Technology Inc and Nvidia Corp up between 0.2% and 0.7%.Micron is set to report its quarterly results later in the day.

Shares in one of this year’s market success stories, Beyond Meat, jumped 15.8% as it added McDonald’s Corp to the list of clients for its plant-based patties.

At 8:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 49 points, or 0.18%.S&P 500 e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.13% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 3.75 points, or 0.05%.

Conagra rose 3.8% after the packaged food maker beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit, boosted by last year’s purchase of Pinnacle Foods and strong demand for its frozen food brands.

Facebook Inc slipped 1.0% as a person familiar with the matter told Reuters that the U.S.Justice Department will open an antitrust investigation of the social media company.

Leisure cruise operator Carnival Corp dropped 2.9% before the release of its quarterly results.

Accenture plc fell 1.3% after the consulting and outsourcing service provider forecast first-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.

Futures were little moved after data showed the final reading of U.S.economic growth for the second quarter remained unchanged from initial estimates, while unemployment claims rose slightly last week. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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