U.S. stocks climb ahead of Trump meeting with trade advisors

U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Thursday as investors awaited for President Donald Trump to meet with his top trade advisors ahead of a key deadline with China.

Around 7 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 15 points, indicating a gain of 17 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also edged higher.

Trump’s meeting, which was first reported by Reuters and cited three unnamed sources familiar with the matter, comes as both sides try to iron out a “phase one” deal with China before Sunday. If an agreement is not reached by then, additional U.S. levies on Chinese products will take effect.

Reports from Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal suggested earlier in the week that the U.S. could delay those additional tariffs. However, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Tuesday the charges were “still on the table.”

The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

Uncertainty around trade has led to a muted performance for stocks this week. The major averages are marginally lower week to date entering the session.

On Wednesday, stocks posted slight gains after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady in a target range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent. The central bank also indicated it would likely not make any policy changes through at least 2020.

The U.S. central bank’s decision to keep borrowing costs unchanged was unanimous, following several dissents in recent meetings.

On the data front Thursday, the latest weekly jobless claims and producer price index figures for November will both be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Source: CNBC