S&P 500 set for another record open as Trump says close to trade deal


(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set to open at another record high on Monday, as President Donald Trump said over the weekend that the United States and China would “very shortly” sign their initial trade pact.

The so-called “phase one” deal, announced earlier this month, has helped fuel a rally on Wall Street, with the benchmark index hitting a record closing high on Friday for the seventh time in eight sessions.

Last week, the S&P 500 also logged its biggest weekly percentage gain since early September, and is on track for its best annual performance since 2013.

Adding to the optimism, China said on Sunday it would cut tariffs on products including frozen pork, avocado and some types of semiconductors next year.

“The end of the year rally is continuing for the right reasons,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York. “The market is focusing on the fact that we’re seeing some daylight in the trade war.”

On Friday, markets also cheered data showing a rise in consumer spending, the latest in a slew of encouraging indicators that have helped eased recession fears.

Few economic indicators are expected in a trading week shortened by the Christmas holiday, with focus turning to the U.S. personal consumption expenditure deflator for November due on Friday.

At 8:19 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 54 points, or 0.19%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 6 points, also 0.19%, while Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 23.5 points, or 0.27%.

Among stocks, Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) rose 2% in premarket trading. The electric vehicle maker and a group of China banks have agreed to a new 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), five-year loan facility for the automaker’s Shanghai car plant, Reuters reported, citing sources.

3M Co (MMM.N) rose 0.8% after J.P. Morgan upgraded its rating on the Post-It notes maker’s stock, citing a potential uptick in the company’s electronics business, which makes products including fluids and abrasives used in computer chips manufacturing.

Apache Corp (APA.N) jumped 7.3% after the oil and gas producer said it has formed a joint venture with France’s Total (TOTF.PA) to develop a project off Suriname.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty