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Stocks rise ahead of US-China trade pact

Ken Martin

U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher start to trading as investors look ahead to this week's signing of a U.S.-Chinese trade pact along with the major banks kicking off earnings season.

The major futures indexes are indicating a rise of 0.4 percent on Monday to start the week.

The “Phase 1” trade agreement has helped to ease market jitters, though economists warn it leaves major disputes unresolved and the outlook for negotiations is unclear.

CHINA'S ECONOMY CZAR TO ATTEND TRADE DEAL SIGNING IN WASHINGTON

China's Shanghai composite gained 0.8 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent. Japan's markets were closed for a holiday.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.5 percent, Germany's DAX rose 0.1 percent and France's CAC was higher by 0.3 percent.

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Under the “Phase 1” trade pact due to be signed Thursday, Washington postponed planned tariff hikes and Beijing agreed to buy more American farm exports.

Fourth quarter earnings season kicks off this week with a slew of big banks set to report, including JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

DOW CROSSES 29,000 FOR FIRST TIME

The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly jumped past the 29,000 milestone for the first time Friday, but hit resistance after a dramatic three-month rally.

The blue-chip index crossed the threshold in morning trading before turning lower. It closed near session lows, down 133.13 points, or 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose in early trading before also edging lower. The S&P 500 lost 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell  0.3 percent.

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On Friday,  the Labor Department said employers added 145,000 jobs in December, short of the 160,000 forecast. That growth was solid enough to bolster Wall Street's view the job market is holding up and households can spend.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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