Futures notch fresh record highs as year-end rally continues

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FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures touched fresh record highs on Friday as optimism over U.S.-China trade tensions and an improving global economy brightened investor sentiment going into the new year.

Signaling resilience in the global economy, data showed China’s industrial profits grew at the fastest pace in eight months in November. The figures added to a slate of upbeat reports from the Asian country, including on industrial production and retail sales.

Robust U.S. economic data, relatively loose monetary policy and hopes of an imminent trade truce between Beijing and Washington have fueled a Wall Street rally this month.

The S&P 500, which has hit record highs in two of three sessions in a holiday-shortened week, is now about half a percentage point away from logging its best year since 1997.

All three major indexes posted record closing highs on Thursday, with the Nasdaq breaching the 9,000 mark for the first time.

Still, some analysts have sounded a cautious note, citing risks to earnings growth next year from lingering weakness in Chinese demand.

At 7:16 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 93 points, or 0.32%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 8.25 points, or 0.25% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 34.5 points, or 0.39%.

In scant individual movers premarket, shares of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) were indicated at another record high after the carmaker said it would begin delivering its China-made Model 3 vehicles on Dec. 30.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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