Stocks - U.S. Futures Slightly Lower as China Offers to Host Trade Talks 

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Stocks - U.S. Futures Slightly Lower as China Offers to Host Trade Talks 
Credit: © Reuters. - U.S. futures were down slightly as trade tensions remained in focus after reports that China has invited Washington for face-to-face talks in Beijing.

The Nasdaq 100 fell 4 points or 0.1% by 6:44 AM ET (11:44 GMT), while Dow futures lost 7 points or 0.1% and S&P 500 futures were flat at 3,108.12 points.

The Wall Street Journal reported that China made the offer last week, but the U.S. has yet to respond. Tensions between the two have increased this week after Congress passed a bill supporting protesters in Hong Kong, which Chinese officials have condemned.

Meanwhile U.S. President Donald Trump indicated on Wednesday that he is considering exempting Apple from an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for Dec. 15. Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL ) gained 0.4% on the news.

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA ) inched up 0.4% ahead of its long-awaited electric pickup truck reveal this evening in Los Angeles. Tiffany & Co (NYSE: TIF ) surged 3.7% after reports that LVMH had raised its offer for the company to $130 per share.

Earnings continues, with Macy’s Inc (NYSE: M ), Berry Global Group Inc (NYSE: BERY ), and BJs Wholesale Club Holdings Inc (NYSE: BJ ) reporting before the opening bell. Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS ), Intuit Inc (NASDAQ: INTU ), and Splunk Inc (NASDAQ: SPLK ) are among those reporting when the market closes.

On the data front, weekly jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing figures for November will be released at 8:30 AM ET, followed by existing home sales later in the session.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,469.05 a troy ounce, while the U.S. dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched down 0.1% to 97.705. Crude oil futures slipped 0.3% to $56.84 a barrel.

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