US stocks set to open higher with optimism over US-China trade talks

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday morning as investors digested reports that the Trump administration could reduce tariffs imposed on China.

As of 5:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a positive open of more than 50 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were also higher.

The stock market ended on a positive note on Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. could ease trade tariffs against China. The suggestion reportedly came from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but faced pushback from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Wall Street rallied on the news but pared some of those gains after a senior government official told CNBC that Mnuchin had not made any such recommendations.

Shares of Tesla were getting slammed in the premarket after CEO Elon Musk said the automaker is cutting its full-time staff headcount by about 7 percent, as it looks to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedans.

Money managers were also following U.S. politics as the government shutdown continues into its 28th day.

Meanwhile, with the earnings season in full swing, investors will be watching out for results from Schlumberger, Citizens Fincl, State Street, and SunTrust.

In terms of economic data, there will be industrial production figures out at 9:15 a.m. ET and consumer sentiment numbers due at 10 a.m. ET.

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