Dow futures gain extend gains as investors ride optimism of partial U.S.-China trade accord

U.S. stock-index futures were gaining on Thursday, putting equity benchmarks in position to extent gains further on the heels of the signing of a formal trade truce between the U.S. and China, completed at a White House signing ceremony on Wednesday.

Investors are now bracing for a batch of economic reports including those on retail sales and jobless claims and a fresh batch of quarterly results, headlined by those from Morgan Stanley.

How did the benchmarks perform?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMH20, +0.26%   were trading 67 points, or 0.2%, higher at 29,096, with the blue-chip index attempting to extend its three-day run-up after closing at a record high, above the psychologically significant 29,000 a day ago. S&P 500 index futures ESH20, +0.32% were up 9.70 points, or 0.3%, at 3,303.50, those for the Nasdaq-100 NQH20, +0.38% were advancing 32.75 points, or 0.4%, at 9,092.75.

On Wednesday, the Dow DJIA, +0.31% rose 90.55 points, or 0.3%, at 29,030.22, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.19% gained 6.14 points, or 0.2%, to close at a record at 3,289.29, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.08% gained 7.37 points, or 0.1%, to close at 9,258.70.

What drove the market?

Under the terms of the 96-page, phase-one trade agreement signed in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, China is slated to purchase $95 billion more in U.S. commodities than in 2017, but investors harbor some doubts that the partial agreement will lead to a lasting according, as the world’s two largest economies move to the next phase of negotiations.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said that “now that phase one of the agreement has been made official, people are talking about the second-phase,” writing in a Thursday research note.

The Wall Street Journal writes that

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