Trade optimism keeps fueling Wall Street rally

Broad based gains across Asian markets are helping buoy sentiment ahead of Wall Street's opening bell today. Optimism continues to grow that a way ahead can be found in terms of those US – Chinese trade talks, but critically there's still no commitment to be flexible on the March 2nd deadline for tariff increases. Arguably there's going to be a need for some very clear signaling here if the optimism is to be sustained in the next couple of weeks.

US inflation data could serve up something of a shock shortly ahead of the opening bell, with falling fuel prices likely to weigh here. It's difficult to see the Fed being able to adopt much more of a dovish tone than they have taken already so even a print just below the forecast 1.5% seems unlikely to lend much meaningful support to stocks. Earnings news continues to trickle out, too, with tech play Cisco Systems having the potential to attract some interest after a recent broker downgrade. Sentiment over those trade talks does however appear set to be a dominant driver for Wall Street in the near term.

Ahead of the open we're calling the DOW up 81 at 25507 and the S&P up 6 at 2751.

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