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* Futures down: Dow 0.09 pct, S&P 0.16 pct, Nasdaq 0.24 pct
By Sruthi Shankar
The steady start to 2019 has lifted the S&P 500 .SPX by over 10 percent from a 20-month low it touched around Christmason hopes of a trade deal, strong data on U.S. jobs growth and dovish views from the Fed. The benchmark index's five-daywinning streak is its longest since September.
Futures pointed to slight opening losses for the main threeindexes, but the Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC closed at alevel on Thursday that was only a couple of points away from its50-day moving average, a level seen important for short-termmomentum.
U.S. officials expect China's top trade negotiator may visitWashington this month, signaling that higher-level discussionsare likely to follow this week's talks with mid-level officialsin Beijing. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZA03L
With big U.S. banks kicking off fourth-quarter earnings nextweek, investors will watch for companies' views on economicgrowth in 2019. Concerns about a slowdown in growth, in the wakeof the U.S.-China trade war and rising interest rates drove aselloff in stocks in the final quarter of 2018.
S&P 500 companies on average are seen posting 14.5 percentgrowth in earnings per share as they report December-quarterresults, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. However,expectations for growth in 2019 are at 6.4 percent, down from anexpectation of 7.3 percent on Jan. 1.
At 7:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 21 points, or0.09 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 4.25 points, or0.16 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 15.75points, or 0.24 percent.
Stocks got a small boost on Thursday after Powell reiteratedthat the U.S. central bank can be patient in approving anyfurther rate increases as officials gauge whether the U.S.economy will slow this year, as some in financial markets worry. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1ZA1MY
Investors will watch for signs of inflation in the latestLabor Department report that is likely to show consumer pricesdipped 0.1 percent in December after a flat reading the previousmonth.
Among stocks, Starbucks CorpSBUX.O fell 2.4 percent afterGoldman Sachs downgraded the stock to "neutral", citing concernsabout China. Goldman also cut rating on Yum Brands IncYUM.N to "sell", pointing to peak valuation. Its shares slipped 3.0percent. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3BR
Activision Blizzard IncATVI.O declined 6.5 percent afterthe video game publisher transferred full publishing rights forits "Destiny" game franchise to video game developer Bungie. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZB3H2
Netflix Inc'sNFLX.O shares, which have leapt more than 20percent this year, were up 2.7 percent, with Credit Suisseraising quarterly subscriber additions estimates ahead of itsearnings next week.
PG&E CorpPCG.N dropped 4.6 percent after Moody's joinedS&P in lowering the utility's credit rating deeper into junkterritory as the California power provider faces billions ofdollars in liabilities related to wildfires. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZA52U (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by ShounakDasgupta) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; within U.S. +1 646 2238780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6328; Reuters Messaging:email@example.com))