Trade concerns simmer, slightly upbeat open foreseen

U.S. stock index futures eked out minor gains ahead of Wednesday's open, lifted by positive sentiment seen in markets overseas.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials slid 29 points, or 0.1%, to 26,272

S&P 500 futures dropped five points, or 0.2%, to 2,906.75, while futures for the NASDAQ composite faltered 15.75 points, or 0.2%, to 7,508.75

In earnings, Red Hat and Herman Miller are both scheduled to release their latest corporate reports.

On the data front, at 8:30 a.m. ET, housing starts, building permits and the U.S. International Transactions report is due.

As another trading week hits the midpoint, investors continue to monitor trade rifts going on between the U.S. and China. On Monday, the U.S. administration announced that it would inflict 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, of which would go onto rise to 25% by year-end.

The news sparked retaliation from China on Tuesday, who announced levies targeting over 5,000 American products – worth $60 billion – which would go into effect next week on Sept. 24

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 leaped 1.1% Wednesday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index soared 1.2%.

Oil prices eked up three cents to $69.88 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices improved $5.20 to $1,208.10 U.S. an ounce.