Monday February 11th


Dow futures rise 100 points on US-China trade optimism

U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday amid increasing hope China and the U.S. will strike a trade deal to end the ongoing tariff war. At around 8:05 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 106 points, indicating a gain of 104.67 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also rose. Axios reported on Sunday, citing two administration officials, that President Donald Trump's advisors have informally discussed holding a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month at the Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private club in Florida. This meeting could take place as soon as mid-March, the report said. However, the officials cited in the story added that nothing has yet been set. That report comes after Trump said last week that a meeting between him and Xi before an early March deadline. If a trade deal is not reached before the deadline, additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will take effect. That deadline could be moved, however, a White House official told CNBC last week. U.S. and Chinese officials will continue trade talks this week with a focus on intellectual property. "The United States is a great producer of technology, and innovation, and know-how, and trade secrets. And we have to operate in an environment where those things are protected," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week. The trade negotiations come amid slowing economic data out of China. Spending growth in China's lunar new year fell to its lowest since 2005. Last month, the Chinese government revealed the country's economy grew at its slowest pace in 28 years. There is also a growing focus on a potential second government shutdown, given that Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over border policy. President Donald Trump tweeted this weekend "I actually believe they (Democrats) want a shutdown." Tesla shares gained more than 2 percent in the premarket after an analyst at Canaccord Genuity upgraded them to buy from hold. The analyst also hiked his price target to $450 a share from $330, implying a 47 percent upside over the next 12 months. Markets in Asia were mixed on Monday with investors watching out for developments on the U.S.-China trade situation, as negotiations are set to continue in Beijing later this week. The mainland Chinese markets, which were offline much of last week due to the Lunar New Year holidays, saw gains on the day. The Shanghai composite rose 1.36 percent to close at 2,653.90 while the Shenzhen component jumped 3.059 percent to finish its trading day at 7,919.05. The Shenzhen composite gained 2.897 percent to close at 1,347.94. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose about 0.6 percent in its final hour of trade. South Korea's Kospi recovered from earlier losses to finish its trading day higher by 0.17 percent at 2,180.73. Japan's stock markets were closed on Monday for a holiday. Oil prices fell on Monday as drilling activity in the United States picked up and a refinery fire in the U.S. state of Illinois resulted in the shutdown of a large crude distillation unit. Concerns about faltering economic growth curbing fuel demand also weighed on oil markets, traders said. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.17 per barrel at 0750 GMT, down 55 cents, or 1 percent, from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures were down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $61.83 a barrel. Gold prices eased on Monday as uncertainties around U.S-China trade tensions made the dollar buoyant, taking sheen off the metal's safe-haven appeal even as investors were worried about a slowdown in global economic growth. Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,311.22 per ounce by 0733 GMT, while U.S. gold futures declined 0.3 percent to $1,314.90 per ounce.