US stocks slightly higher during the opening hour of trade

Major US equity indices traded slightly higher during the opening hour of trade on Friday and remained supported by some positive trade-related developments. 

Fears over a full-blown trade war between the world's two largest economies eased after the Trump administration invited Chinese officials to start new trade talks. The optimism, however, receded after the US President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday, saying that the US was under no pressure to make a deal, and eventually kept a lid on any runaway rally.

On the economic data front, the US retail sales for August recorded the weakest growth in six months, albeit was largely negated by upward revisions of already solid July figures and did little to provide any meaningful impetus. 

At the time of writing this report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced over 50-points to 26,200 and the broader S&P 500 Index added nearly 3-points to 2,907. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed around 17-points and built on its momentum further beyond the key 8,000 psychological round figure mark.

Nevertheless, all the three major indices remain on track to end the week on a positive note, with gains of around 1.0% or higher for the week.

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