US futures turn negative on report that China has doubts over a long-term US trade deal

U.S. stock index futures turned lower on Thursday morning.

At around 6 a.m. ET, Dow futures were down 95 points, indicating a negative open of more than 86 points. Futures on the S&P — which closed at an all-time high in the previous session — and Nasdaq were both seen slightly lower.


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Early Thursday, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources, that Chinese officials have been casting doubt over the possibility of a long-term trade deal with the U.S., despite the two sides closing in on an initial “phase one” accord, sending stock futures tumbling.

Futures had started Thursday on a positive note after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 25 basis points for the third time this year on Wednesday. Comments from Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank would be hitting pause on monetary policy easing for now, and there will be no hiking until inflation rises “significantly.”

Earnings season remains high on the agenda for investors, after Apple on Wednesday forecast sales ahead of Wall Street expectations for the holiday season while Facebook reported its third straight climb in quarterly sales growth.

Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is set to report earnings Thursday after announcing a landmark merger with French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen, which will create the world’s fourth-largest car maker.

FCA will pay its shareholders a 5.5 billion euro ($6.1 billion) special dividend and the two companies will join forces through a 50-50 share swap. The new company’s shares will be listed in New York, Paris and Milan.


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A slew of economic data is due at around 09:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, including PCE (personal consumption expenditure) price index and Core PCE price index figures, along with personal income and spending. Figures are also expected on wages and the latest weekly jobless claims.

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