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Dow Futures Edge Higher, Global Stocks Hold Gains Heading Into Holiday-Thinned Week

Wall Street looks to extend its run of record highs Monday as traders ride U.S.-China trade hopes into a holiday-shortened trading week.

The Monday Market Minute

  • Global stocks hold near all-time highs as China moves to implement some of its phase one agreement commitments.

  • China plans to cut import tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods, alongside others, following the recent pact reached between Washington and Beijing.

  • Global oil prices drift lower, but U.S. crude holds above $60 a barrel, as trade optimism offsets data pointing to record domestic output in 2019 and 2020.

  • Wall Street futures set for modest gains for both the Dow and the S&P 500 heading into a holiday-thinned trading week for global financial markets. .

U.S. equity futures edged higher Monday, while global stocks held near multi-year highs, as investors maintained a broadly bullish tone into the liquidity-thinned Christmas holiday week.

Trade continues to dominate investor sentiment, however, and a move Monday by China to trim import duties on U.S. agricultural products, as well as certain semiconductors, suggests authorities are prepared to implement the "phase one" agreement reached earlier this month between Washington and Beijing.

Last week's solid set of economic data, which included a firm and final 2.1% GDP reading for the third quarter, also suggests domestic growth remains on track, and forecasts for holiday spending look robust heading into the final days before Christmas.

The bullish tenor in global equity markets, which has helped lift U.S. stocks to a string of record highs over the past three months, looks set to continue Monday with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicating an 82 point gain and those linked to the S&P 500, which has gained 28.5% so far this year and recorded 32 all-time highs, is poised for a 8.3 point bump to the upside.

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European stocks were also modestly higher by mid-morning in Frankfurt, with the Stoxx 600 edging 0.05% higher from last week's all-time highs and Britain's FTSE 100 holding a 0.6% gain as the pound slumped to 1.2910 against the U.S. dollar.

Overnight in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 managed to close with a 0.02% gain in a quite session while the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index was marked 0.04% higher heading into the final hours of trading. lead by a 0.2% gain for Hong Kong's Hang Seng index.

Away from equities, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, was marked 0.07% lower at 97.622, while benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yields bumped higher, to 1.905%, following last week's stronger-than-expected housing starts and GDP data.

Global oil prices, meanwhile, where also subdued in the holiday-thinned session overnight, with trader citing support from progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations that offset data from the Energy Information Administration that suggests record domestic output bot this year and next.

Brent crude contracts for February delivery, the global benchmark, were seen 13 cents higher from their Friday close in New York and trading at $66.27 per barrel, while WTI contracts for the same month were marked 3 cents higher at $60.47 per barrel.