US STOCKS-Futures bounce on signs of progress in trade talks

by Reuters
Friday, 22 February 2019 12:30 GMT

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* Trump, Chinese vice premier to meet in Washington

* Trade-sensitive Boeing, Caterpillar rise premarket

* Kraft Heinz dives on SEC probe, $15 bln write-down

* Intel rises on Morgan Stanley upgrade

* Futures up: Dow 0.48 pct, S&P 0.41 pct, Nasdaq 0.57 pct

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Feb 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday on signs of progress in the ongoing trade talks between the United States and China.

After several rounds of high-level discussions between the two countries, President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are expected to meet at the Oval Office later in the day.

Officials haggled over some of the toughest issues in their trade war, with little more than a week left before a Washington-imposed deadline expires, triggering higher tariffs.

"It would appear that there's been some real progress made in the talks, at least enough to extend the truce and avoid further tariff hikes," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London, wrote in a note.

A batch of grim economic data on Thursday, including a surprise fall in new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods, halted the benchmark S&P 500 index's recent run of gains. However, the index is still at more than two-month highs.

At 7:05 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 124 points, or 0.48 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 11.25 points, or 0.41 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 40 points, or 0.57 percent.

Shares of tariff-exposed companies such as Boeing Co rose 0.5 percent and Caterpillar Inc 0.7 percent in premarket trading.

Kraft Heinz Co shares slumped 19.8 percent after the company posted a quarterly loss, disclosed an SEC probe and wrote down the value of its iconic Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands.

Shares of rivals General Mills, Conagra Brands and Kellogg Co fell between 2 percent and 4 percent.

Intel Corp was up 2.9 percent after Morgan Stanley lifted its rating to "overweight," citing the chipmaker's appointment of a new CEO.

Newmont Mining Corp rose 3.1 percent after a report that Canada's Barrick Gold Corp was considering a hostile bid for the company for about $19 billion. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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