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Stocks - Wall Street to Post More Records; Morgan Stanley Eyed

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com - Wall Street is expected to open higher Thursday, continuing Wednesday’s record-setting pace upon the conclusion of the trade pact between the U.S. and China. Corporate earnings releases and retail sales data are in the spotlight.

Futures for the S&P 500 were trading 11 points, or 0.4%, higher by 7:15 AM ET (12:15 GMT), futures for the Nasdaq 100 contract were 36 points, or 0.4%, higher, while the Dow Jones 30 Futures futures contract was up 86 points, or 0.3%. These levels would result in intra-day record highs for all three indices.

On Wednesday, the U.S.S&P 500 rose 0.2%, the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.3%, closing above 29,000 for the first time. Stock market gains in January are on course to be the most in seven years.

Under the terms of the Sino-U.S. trade deal, the U.S. cut tariffs on $120 billion in Chinese goods to 7.5% from 15%. China agreed to increase purchases in the U.S. by $200 billion over the next two years in manufactured goods, agriculture, energy and services.

Banks continue to release earnings, and the final quarter of 2019 has generally been a good one for the sector. Banking giant Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) offered up another beat on expectations, with revenues coming in at $10.9 billion, versus $9.7 billion expected and EPS at $1.30 versus $0.99.

At 07:15 AM ET (12:05 GMT) Morgan Stanley’s shares traded 2% higher premarket,

Elsewhere, shares of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) fell 2.6% premarket after the aluminum specialist reported a larger-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter and its sales came in below expectations.

Investors will also get another read on the health of the U.S. consumer with the release of the final retail sales report for 2019, at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT). Economists expect headline retail sales to have risen 0.3% during December, up from 0.2% in November.

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