April 4, 2017 / 11:38 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures dip on investor caution ahead of Trump-Xi meet

* Futures down: Dow 35 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 13.25 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

April 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Tuesday as investors fretted over the ability of President Donald Trump to deliver on his policy plans, and the outcome of his potentially tense meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week.

* Trump, known to have a protectionist stance on trade, has held out the possibility of using trade as a lever to secure China’s cooperation against North Korea when he meets Jinping on Thursday and Friday.

* U.S. equities have hit record highs on Trump’s promises of tax cuts, looser regulations and higher infrastructure spending.

* However, his administration’s recent struggles to push legislation through Congress, particularly a healthcare reform bill, has raised questions whether they could deliver its pro-business economic stimulus.

* Those questions came back to the forefront on Monday after some U.S. states accused Trump’s administration of illegally suspending energy efficiency standards, while Democrats amassed enough support to block a confirmation vote for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

* Wall Street’s major stock indexes dropped on the news, but later pared losses to close slightly lower.

* Shares of Bank of America fell 1.6 percent to $23.21 in premarket trading on Tuesday after Citigroup downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy”.

* Paratek Pharmaceuticals surged 41 percent to $26.15 after its lead antibiotic drug succeeded in a study.

* Economic data due includes a report by the Commerce Department that is likely to show U.S. trade deficit narrowed in February. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* Factory orders rose 1 percent in February, slightly lower than the 1.2 percent recorded in January, a report due at 10:00 a.m. ET is expected to show.

Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 35 points, or 0.17 percent, with 18,022 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.21 percent, with 103,023 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 13.25 points, or 0.24 percent, on volume of 21,156 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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