Stock futures flat ahead of Trump speech

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By Arjun Panchadar

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were largely flat on Tuesday, as investors turned their focus to a speech by President Donald Trump for clarity on U.S.-China trade relations.

Hopes of a resolution to the 16-month long tariff war and a strong corporate earnings season have pushed Wall Street to record highs this month.

But sentiment dulled on Monday after Trump indicated that he would only sign a trade deal if it was the “right deal” for America. He is scheduled to discuss the country’s trade policy at the Economic Club of New York later on Tuesday.

Trade-sensitive chipmakers including Micron Technology Inc (O:), Nvidia Corp (O:) and NXP Semiconductors NV (O:) rose between 0.6% and 0.9% in premarket trading.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index () hit a record high last week after reports that Washington and Beijing were prepared to roll back existing tariffs in phases. However, Trump contradicted those reports on Friday.

The third-quarter earnings season, which is drawing to a close, has also been largely better than expected. About three quarters of the S&P 500 companies that have reported have topped analysts’ expectations, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Big firms including Walmart Inc (N:), Nvidia and Cisco Systems Inc (O:) are due to report later this week.

Also on the list is the next round of economic data, including October retail sales and industrial production, as well as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the domestic economic outlook.

At 7:22 a.m. ET, were up 23 points, or 0.08%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.5 points, or 0.05% and were up 8 points, or 0.1%.

D.R. Horton Inc (N:) rose 3% in premarket trading as the No.1 U.S. homebuilder benefited from strong demand held up by cheaper mortgage rates, and also forecast 2020 home sales above analyst expectations.

Shares of Craft Brew Alliance (O:) more than doubled after brewer Anheuser-Busch Inbev NV (BR:) said it would take over complete ownership of the Portland-based brewing company in a deal valuing it at about $321 million.

Tencent Music Entertainment Group (N:), however, fell 2.6% after recording the slowest rise in a widely watched metric for its biggest business.

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