Wall Street in focus amid South America trade tariffs

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Tuesday.At around 02:45 a.m., Dow futures rose 30 points, indicating a positive open of more than 40 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both marginally higher.Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Brazil and Argentina.The U.S. president suggested the move was necessary because Brazil and Argentina had been “presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies.”However, in recent months, both countries have been seeking to strengthen their respective currencies against the dollar.The South American trade tariffs have rekindled broader concerns about a protracted dispute between the U.S. and China, with investors monitoring the prospect of a limited agreement.Ahead of his trip to London on Monday, Trump said he was “very happy” the world’s two largest economies were holding talks to try to secure a so-called “phase one” agreement. The U.S. president has joined other world leaders in the U.K.’s capital city to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO.Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.Data, earningsOn the data front, the latest quarterly financial report will be released at 10 a.m. ET, with light vehicle sales figures for November set to follow slightly later in the session.In corporate news, Bank of Montreal and Donaldson are both set to report earnings before the opening bell.Salesforce.com and Marvell Technology Group are among the companies scheduled to report their latest figures after market close.

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