Dow set to rise more than 100 points as Cisco gains on earnings

U.S. stock index futures pointed to positive start to the trading day on Thursday as investors weigh strong earnings against lingering trade-war fears.

At 6:45 a.m., Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 120 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes were also higher.

Shares of Cisco Systems outperformed in the premarket, trading 3.4% higher on the back of quarterly numbers that topped analyst expectations. The company also issued on Wednesday better-than-expected revenue guidance for the current quarter. Walmart is set to report its quarterly results later on Thursday.

But the gains were capped as Wall Street continued to fret over the ongoing trade spat between China and the U.S. Investors had largely priced in the two countries striking a deal this month. Instead, the U.S. hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China retaliated with higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of goods.


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On top of that,  President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday a national emergency over threats against American technology. This move is expected to be followed by a ban on U.S. firms doing business with Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the addition of Huawei Technologies and its affiliates to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List, making it more difficult for the Chinese telecom giant to conduct business with U.S. companies.

The major stock indexes are all down more than 3% this month.

Trade worries were eased slightly on Wednesday after CNBC reported  Trump plans to postpone auto tariffs by up to six months. The White House faces a Saturday deadline to decide whether to slap duties on car and auto part imports over national security concerns.

The news sent stock higher for the day, with the Dow erasing a 190-point decline.

On the data front, investors will be watching housing starts, weekly jobless figures, and a Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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