Futures slightly higher after Mnuchin says U.S.-China trade deal will be signed in early January

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Wall Street stocks

Stocks poised to open slightly higher

Wall Street stocks are tipped to open slightly higher on Friday, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the phase-one U.S.-China trade pact was completely finished and just undergoing a technical legal scrub, adding that it would be signed in early January.

“It’s just going through what I would consider to be a technical, legal scrub, and we’ll be releasing the document and signing it in the beginning of January,” he said, in an interview on CNBC Thursday.

Once signed, the deal will see China increase its imports of U.S. farm products in exchange for reduced levies on Chinese imports by the U.S.

At 6:20 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 22.5 points, or about 0.08% to 28,423.5. The S&P 500 futures rose 0.87 points, or around 0.03% to 3,212.62 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 6.75 points, or roughly 0.08% to 8,680.25.

House approves USMCA trade deal

Meanwhile, the U.S. House voted Thursday in favor of the USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement) trade deal, which is expected to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Lawmakers voted 385-41, with 38 Democrats, 2 Republicans and one independent voting no.

The legislation will be sent to the Senate, where it is likely to pass and be presented to President Donald Trump for approval. Mexican and Canadian officials have already signaled their support for the deal.

According to the International Trade Commission, USMCA is expected to boost the U.S. economy by $68 billion and 176,000 job additions six years after going into effect.

Nike shares fall as North American sales disappoint

Shares of Nike (NYSE: NKE) are slumping after the footwear and apparel giant reported North American revenue that fell short of analysts’ forecasts on Thursday, overshadowing better-than-expected earnings and sales.

Revenue in North America, Nike’s biggest market, grew 5.3% to $3.98 billion in the second-quarter of fiscal 2020, missing consensus expectations of $3.99 billion.

However, the company posted earnings of $1.12 billion, or $0.70 a share, up from $847 million, or $0.52 a share in the same period last year.

Total revenue stood at $10.33 billion, up 10% from $9.37 billion in the earlier-year quarter. On average, analysts polled by Refinitiv had forecast earnings of $0.58 a share on revenue of $10.09 billion.

Shares of Nike declined 1.43% to $99.70 each in premarket trading hours Friday.

Brexit bill debate underway in the UK

Elsewhere, the newly elected UK House of Commons is currently debating whether to support Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for the country to withdraw from the European Union as scheduled on January 31 next year.

His EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) is almost certainly going to be passed by the Conservative-controlled parliament.

Last week, Johnson clinched a landslide victory in the UK general election and has vowed to “get Brexit done.”

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