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U.S. Stocks May Open Lower On Renewed Trade Worries

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Following the lackluster performance seen in the previous session, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 73 points.

Renewed uncertainty about a U.S.-China trade deal may weigh on the markets after a report from the Wall Street Journal said trade talks are in danger of hitting an impasse.

Citing former administration officials and others following the talks, the WSJ said the potential impasse threatens to derail the Trump administration's plan for a limited phase one deal this year.

The Journal said both sides remain divided over core issues, including China's demand for removing tariffs and the U.S.'s insistence on China buying farm products.

The report from the WSJ comes after President Donald Trump threatening higher tariffs on Chinese goods if an agreement is not reached.

"If we don't make a deal with China, I'll just raise the tariffs even higher," Trump said during a cabinet meeting at the White House on Tuesday.

Trump said he was happy with the current trade situation, citing the billions of dollars brought in by tariffs, and declared, "China is going to have to make a deal that I like."

Despite the downward momentum being shown by the futures, traders have recently shown a knack for shrugging off negative news on the trade front amid unshakable optimism a deal will eventually get done.

Later in the trading day, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting.

The minutes are likely to reinforce the view that the Fed will leave interest rates on hold for the foreseeable future after three straight rate cuts.

After moving modestly higher over the course of Monday's session, stocks showed a lack of direction during trading on Tuesday. The major averages spent most of the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the session mixed. While the Nasdaq rose 20.72 points or 0.2 percent to a new record closing high of 8,570.66, the Dow fell 102.20 points or 0.4 percent to 27,934.02 and the S&P 500 edged down 1.85 points or 0.1 percent to 3,120.18.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped by 0.8 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has slumped by 0.9 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.6 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.40 to $55.61 a barrel after plunging $1.84 to $55.21 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,470.90, down $3.40 compared to the previous session's close of $1,474.30. On Tuesday, gold rose $2.40.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 108.56 yen compared to the 108.54 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1054 compared to yesterday's $1.1078.

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