Dow futures slightly higher amid hopes of progress in US-China trade talks

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher Friday morning, amid renewed optimism on the progress of trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

At around 03:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 65 points, indicating a positive open of more than 72 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both seen marginally higher.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after U.S. officials said China had made proposals on a range of issues that go further than it has before — including on forced technology transfer.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday he had a “productive working dinner” with Chinese trade officials the previous night in Beijing, as both sides restart negotiations with the hope of bringing an end to their protracted trade dispute.

The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods over the past year, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

On the data front, personal income and core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index figures for February will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET.

Chicago PMI and consumer sentiment for March and new home sales for February will follow later in the session.

Meanwhile, investors are also likely to closely monitor a flurry of speeches from policymakers at the U.S. central bank. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles and New York Fed President John Williams are all set to comment on the U.S. economy at separate events on Friday.

In corporate news, CarMax and Blackberry are both set to report their latest quarterly results before the opening bell.

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