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Stocks - U.S. Futures Rise, Trade Optimism Continues - U.S. futures pointed to a higher opening Monday, as positive chatter on the trade front helped boost investor confidence.

Chinese state media reported over the weekend that officials from Beijing and Washington have had “constructive talks.” It still remains unclear about if and when a trade deal between the two largest economies in the world will be signed.

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China made a surprise cut to interest rates for the first time since 2015, sparking speculation that China may introduce stimulus measures to counteract negative fallout from the trade war.

Nasdaq 100 futures rose 23 points, or 0.3%, by 6:46 AM ET (11:46 GMT), while Dow futures gained 78 points, or 0.3%, and S&P 500 futures were up 5 points or 0.2%.

Ford Motor (NYSE:F) rose 1.5% after the United Auto Workers union struck a four-year labor deal with the car company. The deal largely mirrors the one secured with General Motors (NYSE:GM) last month. Uber (NYSE:UBER) was up 1.2% on reports that Chairman Ronald Sugar is buying up shares of the ride-sharing company.

Qudian (NYSE:QD) slumped 2% after its earnings missed forecasts, while HP (NYSE:HPQ) tumbled 3.8% on reports that it rejected Xerox's (NYSE:XRX) takeover bid of $22 a share.

On the data front, the National Association of Home Builders housing market index is released at 10:00 AM ET.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,459.40 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 97.803. Crude oil futures dipped 0.3% to $57.66 a barrel.

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