Futures rise on trade optimism, rate cut hopes

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By Arjun Panchadar

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday as hopes of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing as well as rising bets on a rate cut by the Federal Reserve when it meets this week boosted investor sentiment.

The S&P 500 index () came within striking distance of its all-time high on Friday after the United States said it was “close to finalizing” some parts of a trade agreement with China.

Beijing confirmed on Saturday that “technical consultations” on some parts of a trade agreement were basically completed.

The news comes as a relief to investors who have been grappling with the fallout from the trade war and its impact on the global economy.

Dismal domestic economic indicators since the beginning of October have raised the odds for a third rate cut to 94% from 49% last month. The two-day Fed policy meeting starts on Tuesday.

A largely better-than-expected earnings season has been a bright spot, with over 78% of the 199 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far surpassing profit expectations.

All eyes will now be on earnings from global heavyweights this week, including Apple Inc (O:), Alphabet Inc (O:) and Merck & Co Inc (N:).

At 6:55 a.m. ET, were up 74 points, or 0.28%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.22% and were up 21.75 points, or 0.27%.

Among stocks, Microsoft Corp (O:) rose 3% premarket as it won the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud computing contract, beating Amazon.com Inc (O:). Amazon shares slipped 1%.

Tiffany & Co (N:) surged 28% after Louis Vuitton owner LVMH (PA:) confirmed it has approached to buy the U.S. luxury jeweler at a time when it grapples with the impact of tariffs on its exports to China.

Spotify Technology SA (N:) gained 6.1% after the music streaming company beat quarterly revenue estimates as it added more-than-expected paid subscribers for its premium service.

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