April 4, 2019 / 1:16 PM / 5 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for muted open as growth worries resurface, trade talks eyed

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* Trump set to meet Chinese Vice Premier later on Thursday

* Micron falls as Morgan Stanley cuts rating

* Tesla skids after deliveries disappoint

* Futures: Dow and S&P flat, Nasdaq down 0.13% (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal

April 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open flat on Thursday, following a recent run of gains, as lack of fresh developments on trade talks with China and worries about global economic growth kept risk appetite in check.

Negotiations continued in Washington on Wednesday after meetings last week in Beijing, as the United States and China worked toward resolving their long-standing trade dispute which has cast a shadow over global economic growth.

President Donald Trump is set to meet Vice Premier Liu He, who is leading the Chinese side in the talks later on Thursday.

“Things are pretty quiet and there has been a real lack of news, and really it’s been a mixed bag as far as what we’ve been seeing from economic data this week,” said Sahak Manuelian, managing director, equities trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Germany’s industrial orders in February fell at their sharpest rate in more than two years and 2019 growth forecasts were slashed by more than half by leading economic institutes in Europe’s biggest economy.

U.S. data on Wednesday showed services sector activity hit a more than 19-month low in March and private payrolls grew less than expected. Investors will get a clearer picture when the Labor Department releases the non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

Hopes that the United States and China will strike a deal have driven the S&P 500 to a strong first-quarter performance and it has closed higher all of this week. The index is near its highest level since Oct. 10 and is less than 2% away from hitting an all-time high.

“Technically the market is starting to get stronger. We’re starting to break out of the near-term resistance level and look back towards the highs from last year,” Manuelian added.

At 8:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 12 points, or 0.05%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 9.5 points, or 0.13%.

Stocks closed higher on Wednesday as chipmakers rallied on trade hopes and bullish reports about revival of chip demand, taking the Philadelphia Semiconductor index to a record high.

Micron Technology Inc, after closing up more than 3% on Wednesday, fell 3.3% in premarket trading after Morgan Stanley downgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “underweight” from “equal-weight”.

Tesla Inc dropped 10.5% after the electric carmaker’s deliveries fell 31% in the first quarter on challenges in shipping to Europe and China. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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