Stock futures point to lower open with US-China trade talks set to begin this week

U.S. stock index futures were lower Monday as investors prepared for the start of U.S.-China trade talks later this week.

Around 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a loss 51 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also slightly lower.

The moves in premarket trade come after a media report suggested Chinese officials were increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by President Donald Trump. Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead negotiations for China, told dignitaries that his offer to the U.S. will not include commitments on reforming Chinese industrial policy or government subsidies, Bloomberg reported Sunday, citing sources familiar with the matter.


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Trade talks between the U.S. and China are set to resume in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

Industrial stocks pointed to a slight decline in the premarket. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLI) was down 0.5% on light-volume trading, led by declines in Fastenal and Alaska Air Group.

Wall Street came into Monday’s session after the Dow and S&P 500 posted their third straight weekly decline after a flurry of disappointing U.S. economic data suggested the ongoing trade war was starting to take its toll, stoking concerns of a possible recession.

The Dow fell 0.9% last week while the S&P 500 slid 0.3%.

However, that weak data also raised hope for easier monetary policy from the Federal Reserve. Market expectations for a rate cut later this month were around 80%, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

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