US STOCKS-Futures near record high ahead of trade agreement, earnings

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – The expected signing of a trade deal between the United States and China kept U.S. stock futures near record levels on Monday, while investors looked forward to the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season.

An easing of Middle East tensions and signs that the Phase 1 U.S.-China trade agreement will be inked powered Wall Street to record highs last week, despite an underwhelming December jobs report. The two sides are set to sign the agreement in Washington on Wednesday.

The other major center piece this week will be earnings from big banks JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) as they kick off the fourth-quarter reporting season from Tuesday.

Analysts expect profits at S&P 500 companies to drop 0.6% in a second straight quarterly decline, partly down to a strong quarter a year ago and also to the drag from energy and industrials, which have borne the brunt of the trade war.

At 07:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 84 points, or 0.29%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 9.5 points, or 0.29% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 36.75 points, or 0.41%.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Nio Inc (NIO.N) gained 2% and 4.3%, respectively, after a report said China would not make significant cuts to subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEV) this year.

Oppenheimer also its raised its price target on Tesla to $612 from $385.

Semiconductor stocks including Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O) and Western Digital Corp (WDC.O) rose between 0.6% and 1.4% on positive brokerage actions heading into earnings.

Apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU.O) rose 2.5%

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