October 31, 2019 / 1:05 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open lower on trade concerns

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* China casts doubts about long-term trade deal -BBG

* Apple, Facebook gain on upbeat earnings

* Starbucks rises on same-store sales, revenue beat

* Futures down: Dow 0.21%, S&P 0.20%, Nasdaq 0.10% (Adds comments, updates market action)

By Arjun Panchadar

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open lower on Thursday as uncertainty around a potential trade deal between the United States and China overshadowed strong earnings reports from Apple and Facebook.

Chinese officials have doubts about whether it is possible to reach a comprehensive long-term trade deal with Washington and U.S. President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported earlier in the day.

“This headline news (on trade) is giving investors a reason to take some profits off the table,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

The tariff war between the world’s two biggest economies has disrupted supply chains and roiled financial markets for more than a year, escalating fears of a global slowdown.

The U.S. Federal Reserve lowered borrowing costs for the third time this year on Wednesday to help sustain domestic growth despite a slowdown in other parts of the world, but signalled there would be no further reductions unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Hopes of a trade deal and an interest rate cut as well as a largely better-than-expected earnings season had pushed the S&P 500 to a record high earlier this week.

Apple Inc rose 1.4% in premarket trading after the iPhone maker forecast sales for the holiday shopping quarter ahead of expectations.

Facebook Inc jumped 4.2% after reporting an uptick in users in lucrative markets and its third straight rise in quarterly sales growth.

On the economic front, data showed U.S. consumer spending rose marginally in September, while wages were unchanged, casting doubts on consumers’ ability to continue driving the economy amid a deepening slump in business investment.

A separate report showed the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week.

The Labor Department’s jobs data on Friday is expected to shed light on the strength of the U.S. economy.

“In general on the vigil of the key data of the month which is the employment data tomorrow, investors tend to hold off any bets until they digest the numbers,” Cardillo added.

At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 57 points, or 0.21%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 6 points, or 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 8.5 points, or 0.1%.

Among other stocks, Starbucks Corp climbed 2.6% as the coffee chain topped quarterly same-store sales and revenue estimates.

Twitter Inc dropped 1.2% after the company said it will ban political advertising on its platform next month.

Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc gained 4.1% as its higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and an improved outlook showed it was well on its way to profitability by the end of 2021. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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