Australia markets closed

Stocks - U.S. Futures Push for Santa Rally, Trade Deal in “Final Throes" - U.S. futures moved towards record highs on Wednesday as investors continued to bid prices up in response to encouraging but ultimately vague and inconclusive comments about a 'phase-1' trade deal between China and the U.S.

Comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that the U.S. was in the “final throes” of a trade deal with China helped boost sentiment, although he provided no details of what that deal might include. Nor did he say whether he intends to veto a bill tying China's access to the U.S. markets to its treatment of Hong Kong's autonomy, a bill that Beijing has decried.

"We're with them," Trump said of Hong Kong's protest movement on Tuesday. "I have a very good relationship, as you know, with President Xi. We're in the final throes of a very important deal, I guess you could say one of the most important deals in trade ever. It's going very well but at the same time we want to see it go well in Hong Kong.”

Trading is expected to slow down from earlier in the week as the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday approaches.

Nasdaq 100 gained 17 points or 0.2% by 6:54 AM ET (11:54 GMT), while Dow futures rose 10 points or 0.1% and S&P 500 futures inched up 3 points or 0.1%.

Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) surged in premarket trade, rising 2.3% after Raymond James boosted its rating to a “strong buy.” Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) jumped 1% after Elon Musk tweeted that the electric car company has gotten 250,000 pre-orders for its Cybertruck.

Stocks sensitive to trade were a bit higher, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gaining 0.5%, and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) up 0.8%.

Elsewhere, Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) fell 3% after it cut its revenue guidance for the full-year due to a shortage in Intel’s CPU chips. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was down 0.9%. Agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co (NYSE:DE) slumped 4% after the company noted uncertainty in its latest earnings report, even though sales rose in its fiscal fourth quarter.

A flurry of data is being released a day early due to Thursday’s holiday. Weekly jobless claims come out at 8:30 AM ET, along with durable goods and a second reading of real third-quarter gross domestic product.

Chicago PMI, personal income and pending home sales follow later.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,464.45 a troy ounce, while the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched up 0.1% to 98.225. Crude oil futures gained 0.3% to $58.61 a barrel.

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