Stock futures point to slightly higher open as Wall Street nears record highs

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Friday morning, pushing Wall Street closer to record highs set earlier this year.

At around 7:10 a.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial Average futures rose 53 points, indicating a gain of 40 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were both marginally higher.

The Dow came into Friday’s session 1.1% removed from its all-time high while the S&P 500 was 0.7% below its record mark. The Nasdaq Composite remained 1.9% away from its record.


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The moves in premarket trade come shortly after deputy trade negotiators from the U.S. and China resumed face-to-face talks for the first time in almost two months. The deputy-level trade talks are expected to help lay the groundwork for high-level negotiations early next month.

Washington and Beijing 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.

In recent weeks, economic stimulus around the world has helped to ease fears about slowing global growth.

Monetary easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week and by the European Central Bank last week appears to have improved market sentiment.

Fed speeches

Investors are likely to closely monitor a flurry of speeches from policymakers at the U.S. central bank on Friday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and New York Fed President John Williams are all due to comment on the world’s largest economy.

There are no major economic data reports expected on Friday.

On Thursday, the Dow gave up a 100-point gain and the S&P held steady to close just 0.7% away from a record high.

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