March 28, 2019 / 12:58 PM / 7 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for muted open, trade talks in focus

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* U.S., China make progress on trade deal

* 10-year yields fall to a fresh 15-month low

* U.S. Q4 GDP revised down; profits weak

* Nielsen falls on report of doubt about auction

* Futures off: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.10 pct, Nasdaq 0.10 pct (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

March 28 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set for a subdued opening on Thursday, as investors awaited more details on the progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations amid lingering fears of slowing economic growth.

Futures inched lower after data showed the U.S. economy slowed more than initially thought in the fourth quarter, keeping growth in 2018 below the 3 percent annual target, and corporate profits failed to rise for the first time in more than two years.

A Reuters report said China has made unprecedented proposals on a range of issues including forced technology transfer, though sticking points still remained and there was no definite timetable for a deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer looked forward to “productive meetings” as they arrived in Beijing leading a delegation for trade talks.

“It seems very unlikely that the trade issues would get resolved very quickly. They’ve indicated that they made progress so many times, it is a situation where investors want more concrete rather than just talk of progress,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Jersey. Worries about slowing growth have risen recently amid weak economic data and after the Federal Reserve abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year.

“Right now, economic concerns are front and center for investors. They were particularly confident that the U.S. is strong but now doubts are starting to creep in,” Meckler said.

Wall Street’s main indexes came under pressure on Friday when the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007. If it remains inverted for long, it could indicate that a recession is likely in one to two years.

Treasury prices continued its rally on Thursday, pushing the benchmark 10-year yields to fresh 15-month lows.

At 8:39 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 17 points, or 0.07 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.75 points, or 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 7 points, or 0.1 percent.

Credit rating agency S&P Global became the latest to cut its 2019 euro zone growth forecast to 1.1 percent from 1.6 percent.

Nielsen Holdings Plc fell 8.6 percent after a report that private equity firm Blackstone Group backed out of an auction to buy the ratings company.

PVH Corp rose 10.9 percent after the apparel maker forecast full-year adjusted profit and sales above Wall Street expectations. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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