March 27, 2018 / 2:14 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St edges higher as trade war tensions ease

* Tech stocks lead gains

* Red Hat up after results

* Indexes up: Dow 0.29 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.29 pct (Updates to open)

By Sruthi Shankar and Sweta Singh

March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ticked higher on Tuesday, building on strong gains from the previous session amid easing fears of a trade war between the United States and China.

Technology stocks were the biggest gainers, with a more than 1 percent rise in shares of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Intel providing the boost.

The main indexes ended up more than 2 percent on Monday following reports that the United States and China were willing to renegotiate tariffs and trade imbalances.

Global markets were rattled last week after President Donald Trump moved to impose tariffs on Chinese imports of up to $60 billion, adding to the import restrictions already placed on solar panels, steel and aluminum.

Top Trump administration officials are now asking China to cut tariffs on imported cars, allow foreign majority ownership of financial services firms and buy more U.S.-made semiconductors to avoid tariffs and a potential trade war.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro confirmed that Trump has asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to try to resolve trade differences with China.

“We expect yesterday’s rally to extend itself as fading fears over a full-blown trade war is begging to restore confidence,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

“It’s coming at an opportune time as we approach the end of the quarter window dressing.”

At 9:59 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 33.73 points, or 0.14 percent, at 24,236.33.

The S&P 500 gained 0.12 percent at 2,661.81 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.24 percent, at 7,238.02.

Facebook shares rose about 1 percent after being hammered for days following the outcry over the social media company’s handling of users’ data.

The company now faces an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on how it allowed data of 50 million users get into the hands of a political consultancy.

Red Hat shares rose 3.5 percent after the software developer reported better-than-expected quarterly results on strong demand for its hybrid cloud products. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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