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Stocks - U.S. Futures Inch up, as Xi Says He Isn’t Afraid to ‘Fight Back’

Investing.com - U.S. futures were slightly higher on Friday, after Chinese President Xi Jinping said he wants a trade deal with the U.S. but is not afraid to “fight back.”

“As we always said, we don’t want to start the trade war but we are not afraid,” Xi told a U.S. business delegation in Beijing. “When necessary we will fight back but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war.”

Doubts over whether a trade deal will be reached by the end of the year have risen this week. Earlier in the week, there were reports that China had invited U.S. officials to Beijing for further talks but it’s unclear if the U.S. has accepted.

Nasdaq 100 futures rose 19 points or 0.2% by 6:50 AM ET (11:50 GMT), while Dow futures gained 27 points or 0.1% and S&P 500 Futures inched up 3 points or 0.1%.

Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) was the one bright spot among struggling retailers. The company surged 7.8% in premarket trade after its earnings came in better than expected, while it narrowed its 2019 earnings forecast. Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) was up 7.1% on an earnings beat, while Uber (NYSE:UBER) gained 2.7%

Elsewhere, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell 3.5% after it revealed its new “Cybertruck” while Pure Storage (NYSE:PSTG) slumped 24% after failing to meet earnings estimates.

On the data front, manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and service-sector PMI numbers come out at 9:45 AM ET, followed by consumer sentiment.

In commodities, gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,472.75 a troy ounce, while the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 97.920. Crude oil futures slipped 0.5% to $58.31 a barrel.

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