US STOCKS-Futures flat as trade moves offer mixed signals


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    * Futures: Dow up 0.10%, S&P 500 up 0.01%, Nasdaq down 0.05%

    By Uday Sampath Kumar
    Sept 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were largely
flat on Wednesday as easing trade tensions with China did little
to sway investors, who are refraining from making heavy bets
ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates next
    Earlier in the day, China's finance ministry said 16 types
of U.S. goods would be exempted from additional retaliatory
tariffs, ahead of a planned meeting between trade negotiators
from the two countries.*:nL3N2621DV
    While the move is perceived as a friendly gesture to thaw
trade relations with the United States, analysts are far from
convinced that it is a turning point in a trade war that has
hurt the global economy.
    "The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity
towards the US ahead of negotiations in October, but is probably
more a means of supporting the (Chinese) economy," Iris Pang, a
Greater China economist with ING, wrote in a note.
    On Tuesday, a senior White House adviser tempered down
expectations for the trade talks, urging investors to be patient
about resolving the dispute between the world's two largest
    Markets are now looking for stimulus measures from central
banks to stem a global slowdown, with the Fed and the European
Central Bank expected to cut interest rates at their policy
meetings over the next two weeks.
    With major decisions still around the corner, trading in
U.S. markets has been subdued this week. Investors have been
readjusting their portfolios, shifting profits from
outperforming sectors such as technology to those that have
underperformed like energy and financials.
    Shares of Micron Technology Inc  MU.O  rose nearly 2%
premarket after Longbow Research upgraded its rating on the
stock to "buy". Shares of other chipmakers also ticked higher in
thin volumes.*:nL3N2622HJ
    Apple Inc  AAPL.O  was marginally higher after the company
unveiled its latest iPhones on Tuesday and rolled out a
streaming TV service at a price that undercut Disney  DIS.N  and
Netflix  NFLX.O .*:nL2N2610X7
    At 7:05 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis  1YMcv1  were up 26 points, or
0.1%. S&P 500 e-minis  EScv1  were up 0.25 points, or 0.01% and
Nasdaq 100 e-minis  NQcv1  were down 3.75 points, or 0.05%.
    Also on the radar is a report from the Labor Department, due
at 8:30 a.m. ET, which is expected to show producer prices for
final demand in August remained unchanged at 1.7%.

 (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru
Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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