Stock futures fall as trade worries linger

(Reuters) – U.S. stock futures fell on Friday, as a lack of progress on the U.S.-China trade front kept investors on edge with only three weeks before a truce between the world’s biggest economies comes to an end.

FILE PHOTO – Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Another round of talks is scheduled for next week in Beijing, but President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline set by the two countries for reaching a trade pact.

If the two countries are unable to reach an agreement by then, additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports will come into effect.

The trade tensions added to investors angst stemming from signs of slowing growth around the world, which sent Wall Street’s main indexes sharply lower on Thursday and pulled them down from the two-month highs they hit earlier this week.

“The negative mood sweeping across financial markets late in the trading week continues to highlight how investor sentiment remains extremely sensitive to any changes in the narrative with U.S.-China trade developments,” said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.

Chipmakers, which rely on China for a large chunk of their revenue, slipped in premarket trade. Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Micron Technology Inc and Intel Corp were down between 0.7 percent and 2.5 percent.

The high-flying FAANG group – Facebook Inc, Inc, Apple Inc, Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc – dropped between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent.

At 7:04 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.58 percent. Dow e-minis were down 0.55 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.83 percent.

Since the massive sell-off in December on mounting concerns over a global economic slowdown, U.S. stocks have recovered sharply this year, spurred by a dovish Federal Reserve, hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal and largely positive fourth-quarter earnings.

The earnings season has crossed its halfway mark, with 71 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported beating profit estimates.

However, concerns remain about slowing earnings growth in the upcoming quarters. Growth forecast for the current quarter has dropped to 0.1 percent from 5.3 percent at the start of the year, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Coty Inc in premarket trading surged 13.9 percent after the cosmetics maker reported quarterly revenue and profit that topped Wall Street expectations, benefiting from strong sales in North America.

Mattel Inc’s shares jumped 16.1 percent after the toymaker posted a surprise quarterly profit, while rival Hasbro Inc tumbled 10.2 percent after its quarterly revenue missed expectations.

Expedia Group Inc shares climbed 6.8 percent after the online travel booking company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Reporting by Medha Singh and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru

The put upStock futures fall as trade worries lingerappeared first on Reuters

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