S&P futures tread water as Sino-U.S. tensions weigh

(Reuters) – Futures contracts for the S&P 500 were largely flat on Thursday as investors weighed hopes of an economic recovery against underlying tensions between the United States and China.

Chipmakers, which are sensitive to China’s growth, were under pressure, with Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc dropping about 1% each in premarket trade.

President Donald Trump has promised action over China’s new national security legislation for Hong Kong by the end of the week.

Analysts have warned the souring relations between the world’s two largest economies in recent weeks over trade and the handling of the coronavirus outbreak pose the biggest threat to the stock market’s strong rally off the March lows.

The benchmark S&P 500 hit a near three-month high on Wednesday, closing above the key psychological level of 3,000 amid growing evidence of a pick up in business activity.

Investors will also focus on Labor Department’s data which is expected to show that more than 2 million Americans sought unemployment benefits for the 10th straight week. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

At 6:20 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 69 points, or 0.27% and S&P 500 e-minis were down 3 points, or 0.1%. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 54.5 points, or 0.58%.

Micron Technology Inc dropped 1.1% despite raising its revenue forecast for the third quarter.

In a bright spot, Boeing Co climbed 4.2%, the most among the 25 Dow components trading before the bell, after the planemaker said it had resumed production of its 737 MAX passenger jet at its Washington plant.

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