US equity futures pointed to a notably higher open on Thursday, following headlined hopes of progress in the US-China trade dispute, after China indicated that it wouldn’t immediately retaliate against the latest American tariff increase. 

China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, told reporters in Beijing on Thursday; "China has ample means for retaliation, but thinks the question that should be discussed now is about removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation of the trade war”. 

"Escalation of the trade war won't benefit China, nor the US, nor the world", Gao added.

Mr. Feng had also highlighted a need to create the necessary conditions for trade negotiations to proceed, while noting that the countries remained in communication over possible talks in September.

Investors eager for good news seemingly latched on to the ministry’s comments as an indication that a resolution to the trade tensions could be forthcoming. 

Today’s developments look to help extend upon Wednesday’s advance, where Wall Street swung higher following a decline in US crude stockpiles, which drove Energy (+1.43%) shares higher.

The benchmark S&P 500 index shed early losses to end +0.70% higher. Utilities (-0.27%) were the lone sector in the red, while Technology (+0.09%) shares under-performed. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose +0.36%. 

Ahead, in today’s economic calendar, Thursday includes; Weekly Jobless Claims, International Trade in Goods for July and second-quarter Gross Domestic Product data at 8:30am EST, followed by the Pending Home Sales Index for July at 10am EST.

In corporate news; Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Best Buy (BBY), Burlington Stores (BURL), Dell Technologies (DELL), Dollar General (DG), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Hain Celestial Group (HAIN), Marvell Technology (MRVL) and Workday (WDAY) are amongst the major companies scheduled to report their earnings today.

China & Trade: China Indicates It Won’t Retaliate Now on New US Tariffs. (Bloomberg)
China indicated that it wouldn’t immediately retaliate against the latest US tariff increase announced by President Donald Trump last week, emphasizing the need to discuss ways to deescalate the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Today's Economical Announcements.

08:30AM - ★☆☆ - Weekly Jobless Claims (Previous: 209,000)
08:30AM - ★★☆ - Goods Trade Balance (Jul) (Previous: -74.16B)
08:30AM - ★★★ - GDP (QoQ) (Q2) (Previous: 2.1%)
10:00AM - ★★★ - P. Home Sales (MoM) (Jul) (Previous: 2.8%)

Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet (OLLI): [EARNINGS] Fell 11 cents shy of forecasts with adjusted quarterly earnings of 35 cents per share, and the discount retailer’s revenue was also short of estimates. Ollie’s also lowered its full-year guidance. CEO Mark Butler noted a “tough quarter” with the rapid opening of new stores.

Guess (GES): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 38 cents per share, 9 cents above estimates, with the clothing maker’s revenue also exceeding Wall Street forecasts. The company credits stronger sales and improved expense management, among other factors.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): [EARNINGS] Lost 48 cents per share for its latest quarter, less than the 53 cents that analysts had projected. Revenue, however, fell short of estimates, and comparable store sales were flat compared to a consensus estimate of up 0.6%.

Box (BOX): [EARNINGS] Reported a breakeven quarter on an adjusted basis, compared to analyst expectations of a 2 cents per share loss. The cloud computing company’s revenue also beat estimates, but customer retention rates fell and Box kept its full-year earnings outlook unchanged.

Dollar General (DG): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 17 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.74 per share, while revenue beat estimates as well. Comparable store sales rose 4%, better than the 2.4% increase that analysts had anticipated. The company also raised its full-year sales and profit forecast.

Five Below (FIVE): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 1 cent with quarterly earnings of 51 cents per share, but revenue did fall below analyst forecasts. It also widened the range of its full-year earnings forecast, citing the uncertainty surrounding China tariffs.

Dollar Tree (DLTR): [EARNINGS] Fell 5 cents short of consensus with quarterly earnings of 76 cent per share, while revenue beat estimates. Comparable store sales rose 2.4%, beating the Refinitiv consensus estimate of up 1.9%.

Best Buy (BBY): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.08 per share, 9 cents above estimates, and the company also raised its full-year earnings forecast. However, revenue and comparable store sales did fall below estimates for the most recent quarter.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 87 cents per share, 3 cents above estimates, with the houseware’s retailer reporting revenue above projections as well. Comparable store sales were up 6.5%, nearly double the 3.3% consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. The company also raised its full-year guidance.

Walt Disney (DIS): [NEWS] Projections for its Disney+ streaming service may have been too modest, after 43% of households responding to a UBS survey said they intended to subscribe to the service. Disney’s own projections have predicted 20% to 30% of households would subscribe by 2024.

PVH (PVH): [EARNINGS] Beat estimates by 22 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.10 per share, with revenue also beating forecasts. However, the company behind clothing brands like Calvin Klein also cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time this year, with results coming under pressure from the U.S.-China trade dispute and unrest in Hong Kong.