Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures point to fresh highs for Wall Street on trade-deal optimism

U.S. stock futures indicated major indexes could be headed for fresh highs on Wednesday, after President Donald Trump said he may let a China trade-deal deadline slide if the two sides were making enough progress.

How are major indexes faring?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH9, +0.39%   rose 115 points, or 0.5%, to 25,521, while S&P 500 futures ESH9, +0.32%   rose 10.95 points, or 0.5%, to 2,755.75. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH9, +0.52%  climbed 41.75 points, or 0.6%, to 7,060.50.

Major indexes closed 2019 highs on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.49%  climbing 372.65 points, or 1.5%, to 25,425.76, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.29%  rose 1.3% to 2,744.73, finishing above its 200-day moving average for the first time in 46 days. That marked the S&P’s longest sojourn under the key trend line since March 2016, according to the Dow Jones Market Data Group.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.46%  advanced 1.5% to 7,414.62.

Read: Morgan Stanley warns of a looming earnings recession

What’s driving the market?

Providing fresh optimism for investors, President Trump said Tuesday that he would allow for flexibility on a the timeline for a deal with China if an agreement looks close. The White House had previously referred to March 2 as a “hard deadline” for an agreement. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to meet key members of the U.S. delegation on Friday, sources told the South China Morning Post.

A third day of bilateral trade negotiations were under way in Beijing, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expected Thursday for more high-level discussions. The White House had previously referred to a “hard deadline” for a deal as 12:01 a.m. Eastern time March 2 deadline.

Read: For the stock market, a trade-war win may be a hollow victory

Meanwhile, Trump said Tuesday a second government shutdown was unlikely, even as he expressed unhappiness with the tentative agreement that allows for 55 miles of new border fencing reached by Democratic and Republican lawmakers late Monday.

Investors will get January consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, while the federal budget for December is due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic will appear in a moderated discussion at the European Financial Forum in Dublin, Ireland at 8:50 a.m. Eastern, while Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker will speak on the economic outlook at the Jewish Business Network lunch in Philadelphia at noon Eastern.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will speak on economic outlook and monetary policy in Lexington, Kentucky at 8:50 a.m. Eastern.

How were other markets trading?

Trade-deal optimism and a strong session for Wall Street on Tuesday inspired gains across global markets. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 index NIK, +1.34%   jumped 1.3% and the Shanghai Composite rose nearly 2%. The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.46% was poised for gains as European stock futures also climbed.

Crude prices CLH9, +0.83%  climbed over 1% after Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told the Financial Times in an interview that the country would further reduce its oil production, to near 9.8 billion barrels a day in March. Gold GCH9, +0.13% rose, while the U.S. dollar DXY, +0.01% slipped against its peers.

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