Investing.com - U.S. futures were higher on Thursday, as investor optimism that the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates to support the economy outweighed fears of more trade tariffs.
U.S. President Donald Trump said that he could increase tariffs on China by as much as $300 billion if Beijing doesn’t make a trade deal, while he later tweeted that "not nearly enough" progress has been made on immigration talks with Mexico to avert a planned 5% tariff on Mexican goods going into effect on Monday. The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that the tariffs that the U.S. has announced already on Chinese imports - together with Chinese countermeasures - would cost the world economy some $455 billion in value-added next year.
Dow futures rose 74 points or 0.3% by 6:40 AM ET (10:40 GMT), while tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gained 28 points or 0.4% and S&P 500 futures was up 8 points or 0.3%.
Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) slipped 0.5% after the automaker pulled out of its merger offer with Renault (PA:RENA), blaming meddling from the French government.
The French government, which has a 15% stake in Renault, said it was waiting for support from Renault’s alliance partner Nissan (OTC:NSANY).
Elsewhere, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) jumped 2.8%, while AMD rose 2.9% and Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) was up 0.8%. The alternative meat company is reporting its earnings after the bell closes Thursday.
Zoom Technologies (OTC:ZOOM) is also expected to report after the close, while Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) and JM Smucker (NYSE:SJM) report before the market open.
On the data front, jobless claims, and export and import data are expected at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT). The European Central Bank (ECB) will announce its latest monetary policy decision at 7:45 AM ET, and hold its regular press conference at 8:30 AM ET.
In commodities, crude oil inched up 0.3% to $51.82 a barrel, while gold futures gained 0.5% to $1,340.75 a troy ounce. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 97.227.