U.S. stock futures were pointing to a sharply higher Friday open on Wall Street, with President Donald Trump casting a positive view on the China trade talks. The projected gains, if they were to hold by the close, would give the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 their first positive week in the last four. Heading into Friday trading, the Dow and S&P 500, for all their recently volatility, were about 3% away from their all-time highs.
Trump, who plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Friday, told reporters after the first day of trade talks in Washington that they were "going really well." The discussions, aimed at ending the two nations' 15-month trade war, come days before an Oct. 15 deadline when the U.S. plans to hike tariff rates on some $250 billion of Chinese goods to 30% from 25%.
Oil prices rose sharply Friday after Iran's state media said two rockets struck an Iranian tanker traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia, about 60 miles from the city of Jeddah. NBC News reports the tanker crew was not wounded and was working to stabilize the ship. Iran said oil leaking into the sea has been stopped and the "situation is under control."
Two Florida businessmen tied to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the Ukraine impeachment investigation were arrested on federal campaign finance violations. The charges do not suggest any wrongdoing by the president, but they raise additional questions about how those close to Trump and Giuliani sought to use their influence. Trump has dismissed the impeachment inquiry as baseless and politically motivated. Earlier this week, the White House refused to cooperate.
General Motors is urging the United Auto Workers to agree to "around-the-clock" bargaining in an attempt to reach a tentative labor agreement and potentially end the union's strike against the automaker, which is now in its 26th day. The work stoppage has rippled throughout GM's North American operations, causing thousands of additional layoffs. Wall Street analysts estimate GM is losing roughly $50 million to $100 million per day in lost production.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.