January 18, 2019 / 12:49 PM / 7 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures rise as trade hopes help sentiment

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* Mnuchin considers lifting tariffs on Chinese imports -report

* Netflix slips on Q1 revenue forecast miss

* Futures: Dow 0.67 pct, S&P 0.47 pct, Nasdaq 0.46 pct

By Medha Singh

Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures rose for the fifth straight day on Friday, building on hopes that a bitter trade war between the United States and China would be resolved.

Wall Street rallied late on Thursday after a report that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports. The Treasury denied Mnuchin had made any such recommendation.

The benchmark S&P 500, which closed above its 50-day moving average for the first time since Dec. 3, is on track for its fourth week of gains, its longest streak since late July.

The S&P 500 index is now 11.2 percent away from its Sept. 20 record close after having rallied from a 20-month low on Christmas Eve.

“Although, the Treasury didn’t confirm this (the report), the market has bought it for now and if it turns out to be a junk, the selloff would be intense,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK Ltd in London, wrote in a note.

“To put things in perspective, the S&P 500 broke its 50-day moving average, a signal that bulls are back in the race.”

At 7:08 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 0.67 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.47 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 0.46 percent.

Late on Thursday, Netflix Inc posted record new subscriber additions in the fourth quarter but its shares dipped 2.6 percent in premarket trading on slightly disappointing current-quarter revenue forecast.

Netflix remains the best performing FAANG stock this year, rising more than 30 percent. Rest of the FAANG members, which will report their quarterly results in the coming weeks, rose between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent.

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services provider, rose 2 percent after reporting a quarterly profit compared with a year-earlier loss.

Other energy stocks were also higher, boosted by a jump in oil prices.

American Express Co missed fourth-quarter profit estimates, blaming a slower rate of customer spending despite a strong U.S. holiday sales season. Shares of the credit-card company dropped 2.2 percent in light premarket volume.

Shares of Tesla Inc slid 6.6 percent in heavy premarket trading. The company said it would cut 7 percent of its workforce and forecast a smaller quarterly profit, compared with the preceding quarter.

Analysts have lowered their fourth-quarter earnings forecast for S&P 500 companies to 14.2 percent from 20.1 percent estimated on Oct. 1, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

There were some worries that the partial U.S. federal government shutdown, which entered its 28th day with no end in sight, could delay tax refunds and hit companies that rely on consumers spending a chunk of that money on their goods or services. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal; Editing by Anil D’Silva )

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