Futures dip on caution ahead of trade talks

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures dipped on Monday as investors braced for U.S.-China trade talks later in the week, after a rollercoaster week that sparked fears of a recession in the world’s largest economy.

Chinese officials signaled they were increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by U.S. President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported over the weekend.

Wall Street logged a choppy start to the month as concerns fueled by a contraction in U.S. factory activity and weaker-than-expected services sector data were countered by rising bets of a third interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Traders see a 76.4% chance of the Fed cutting rates by 25 basis points at its policy meeting later this month, up from about 40% a week ago, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

After losing about 3% earlier in the week, the and Jones indexes gained more than 1% on Friday after a report showed nonfarm payrolls increasing by 136,000 last month, with the unemployment rate dropping to a 50-year low.

Investors will now turn to the upcoming third-quarter earnings season to judge the effect of the trade war on Corporate America.

Analysts are pointing to the lowest quarterly profit performance since 2016, with S&P 500 earnings falling 2.7% from a year ago, based on IBES data from Refinitiv.

At 7:23 a.m. ET, <1YMcv1> were down 63 points, or 0.24%. were down 7.25 points, or 0.25% and were down 19 points, or 0.24%.

Among stocks, General Electric Co (N:) shares rose 1.1% premarket after the industrial conglomerate said it was freezing the pension plan for about 20,000 U.S. employees with salaried benefits, as it looks to cut its huge debt pile.

Carnival Corp (N:) dipped 0.6% after HSBC downgraded the cruise operator’s shares to “hold” and said the company’s share buyback plan could be suspended.

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc (N:) rose 2.8% as Citigroup (NYSE:) upgraded its shares to “buy”.

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