US STOCKS-Futures gain on trade optimism; inflation data eyed

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* Futures up: Dow 0.28 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.42 pct

By Amy Caren Daniel

President Donald Trump said he would be willing to let aMarch 1 deadline slide if the two countries were close to a dealand Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in Beijing that hehoped for "productive" meetings.

"Comments from Trump gave investors plenty of cause foroptimism, with the President suggesting he very much wants adeal and could let the deadline slide," Craig Erlam, seniormarket analyst at Oanda in London, wrote in a note.

Sentiment was also lifted by progress on a deal to avertanother U.S. government shutdown, with the S&P 500 endingTuesday above its 200-day moving average for the first timesince early December.

The benchmark index is now nearly 17 percent away from itsDecember lows, fueled by optimism on trade, a largely upbeatfourth-quarter earnings season and a dovish Federal Reserve.

At 6:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 70 points, or0.28 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 6 points, or 0.22percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 29.75 points, or0.42 percent.

Data due at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show that theconsumer price index rose 0.1 percent in January after recordinga drop of 0.1 percent in December.

In late-January, the Fed indicated its three-year-drive totighten monetary policy may be at an end and said it would be"patient" before making any further moves.

The fourth-quarter earnings season is in the last leg, andabout 71 percent of S&P 500 companies that have reported havebeaten consensus estimates.

Analysts now estimate that first-quarter earnings willdecline 0.3 percent, which would be the first loss since theearnings recession ended in the second quarter of 2016.

Activision Blizzard IncATVI.O rose 2.5 percent premarketafter the videogame maker announced share buyback plan and jobcuts.

Dish Network CorpDISH.O declined 6.5 percent after theU.S. satellite TV service provider lost more-than-expectedpay-TV subscribers in the fourth quarter.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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