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Stocks - U.S. Futures Flat as Focus Turns to Trade Talks

Investing.com - U.S. futures were up slightly on Thursday, as Washington's trade representatives arrived in Beijing for yet another round of talks to end a year-long trade war.

U.S. officials have briefed in optimistic terms ahead of the latest talks, with Reuters citing one saying that China has made unprecedented proposals in regards to issues like forced technology transfers. There's been no sign of corroboration of that from China, however.

The latest talks, which will be followed by another round in Washington next week, come after the two sides missed a goal for a summit at the end of March to sign off on a deal.

Dow futures rose 3 points or 0.01% by 6:41 AM ET (10:41 GMT), while S&P 500 futures was flat and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures was up 1 point or 0.02%.

Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) was among the top gainers in premarket trading, soaring 11.5% after reporting strong holiday sales in the fourth quarter. Semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) rose 0.6%, while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) inched up 0.2% and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) gained 0.4%

Elsewhere, Perrigo Company (NYSE:PRGO) fell 0.6%, while Carnival (NYSE:CCL) fell another 1.3%, extending losses after a weak trading update, and Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) inched down 0.4%.

In economic data, fourth-quarter economic growth numbers come out at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT), along with initial jobless claims. Pending home sales are released at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

Speeches from Federal Reserve members are also slotted for the day, with Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida, Governors Randal Quarles and Michelle Bowman and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard all set to speak at separate events.

In commodities, gold futures lost 0.4% to $1,311.25 a troy ounce, while crude oil fell 0.6% to $59.08. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, gained 0.2% to 96.505.

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