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Wall Street set for muted open, trade talks in focus By Reuters



© Reuters. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening in New York

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – Wall Street's main indexes were set for a subdued opening on Thursday, as investors awaited more details on the progress in US-China trade negotiations amid lingering fears of slowing economic growth.

Futures inched lower after data showed the US economy slowed more than initially thought in the fourth quarter, keeping growth in 201

8 below the 3 percent annual target, and corporate profits failed to rise for the first time in more than two years.

A Reuters report said China has made unprecedented proposals on a range of issues including forced technology transfer, though sticking points still remain and there was no definite timetable for a deal.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer looked forward to "productive meetings" as they arrived in Beijing leading a delegation for trade talks.

"It seems very unlikely that the trade issues would get resolved very quickly. many times, it's a situation where investors want more concrete than just talk of progress, "said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Jersey.

Growing growth rates have recently hit amid weak economic data and after the Federal Reserve abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year.

"Right now, economic concerns are front and center for investors. They were particularly confident that the US is strong but now are starting to creep in," Meckler said.

Wall Street's main indexes came under pressure on Friday when the US Treasury yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007. If it remains inverted for long, it could indicate that a recession is likely in one to two years.

Treasury prices continued on Thursday, pushing the benchmark 10-year yields to fresh 15-month lows. At 8:39 am.m. ET, were down 17 points, or 0.07 percent. were down 2.75 points, or 0.1 percent and were down 7 points, or 0.1 percent.

Credit rating agency S&P Global (NYSE 🙂 became the latest to cut its 2019 euro zone growth forecast to 1.1 percent from 1.6 percent. ] Nielsen Holdings Plc fell 8.6 percent after a report that Blackstone's private equity firm (NYSE 🙂 Group backed by an auction to buy the ratings company.

PVH Corp (NYSE 🙂 rose 10.9 percent after the apparel maker forecast full year adjusted profit and sales above Wall Street expectations.

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