Dow in focus after deal to avoid government shutdown

U.S. stock index futures were higher Tuesday morning, with market participants hopeful a fresh set of trade talks could help to resolve a dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

At around 4:05 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 156 points, indicating a positive open of more than 143 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were also seen slightly higher.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, with the U.S. and China trying to hammer out a deal before an early March deadline.

Both sides expressed hopes the new round of negotiations, which began in Beijing on Monday, would bring them closer to a comprehensive trade agreement.

The trade dispute has already started to impact global growth, with investors worried a protracted dispute could soon severely hurt corporate earnings.

Meanwhile, market sentiment got a boost amid news U.S. lawmakers had secured a tentative deal on border security funding on Monday.

The drafted agreement — which congressional aides said did not contain funds for President Donald Trump’s border wall — could help to prevent another partial government shutdown due to begin from Saturday.

In corporate news, Nissan, Under Armour and Shopify are among the major companies expected to report their latest quarterly results before the opening bell. Occidental Petroleum, Activision Blizzard and TripAdvisor are all due to publish earnings after market close.

On the data front, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January is expected to be released at around 6:00 a.m. ET. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) figures for December will be published later in the session.

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