Futures Hurtle Higher as Tariffs Rolled Back

U.S. stock index futures turned sharply higher Thursday after China said the world’s two largest economies had agreed to remove existing trade tariffs.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials zoomed 137 points, or 0.5%, early Thursday to 27,567.

Futures for the S&P 500 gained 12 points, or 0.4%, at 3,087.50. The gains put the Dow and S&P 500 on track to reach fresh record highs at the open.

The NASDAQ Composite hiked 41.5 points, or 0.5%, to 8,248.75.

Trade bellwethers Caterpillar and Boeing were both up at least 0.7% in the pre-market. Chip stocks such as Micron Technology, Advanced Micro Devices and Skyworks Solutions all gained at least 1% before the bell. Apple shares advanced 0.8%.

Gao Feng, a ministry spokesperson for China’s Commerce Ministry, said that both sides had agreed to simultaneously cancel some existing tariffs on one another’s goods, according to the country’s state broadcaster. The ministry spokesperson said that both sides were closer to a so-called “phase one” trade agreement following constructive negotiations over the past two weeks.

In corporate news, Booking Holdings, Disney and Activision Holdings are the companies set to report their latest quarterly figures after market close.

Qualcomm shares jumped more than 6% in the pre-market after reporting Wednesday quarterly results that topped analyst expectations. The company’s results were driven by strength in Qualcomm’s licensing business.

On the data front, the latest weekly jobless claims numbers will be released at around 8:30 a.m. ET, and consumer credit figures for September are due to be published later in the session.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index took on 0.6%.

Oil prices gained 70 cents to $57.05 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices backtracked $8.10 to $1,485.00 U.S. an ounce.