US stocks set for a positive open as political concerns linger

U.S. stock index futures posted gains ahead of Wednesday’s open, as investors tried to shake off domestic political concerns.

Around 7:16 a.m. ET, Dow futures were up 105 points, indicating a rise of 118.97 points at the open. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 futures also indicated a positive open for their respective markets.

The moves in pre-market trade came after Wall Street saw a choppy trading day Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing down more than 150 points, the index’s worst session in nearly two weeks. Markets remained on edge Wednesday, with concerns over trade tensions and upheaval in the White House.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed two declarations to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports — both are expected to take effect in the coming weeks. While Canada and Mexico exempt from the deal, fears over a potential trade war remain, as investors worry that countries around the world may impose their own retaliatory tariffs.

A source told CNBC on Tuesday that Washington is contemplating a trade package that would include investment restrictions, indefinite tariffs and potentially even visa restrictions on Chinese travelers.

Investors will likely be reflecting on Trump’s decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by the announcement that he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement.

In economic data, retail sales and producer price index (PPI) data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET, while business inventories will come out at 10 a.m. ET.

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