October 11, 2019 / 1:06 PM / 9 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to rise on hopes of de-escalation in trade war

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* Trump to meet Chinese vice premier at 2:45 p.m. ET

* Chipmakers, Apple rise in premarket trading

* Oil majors mirror gains in crude prices

* Futures up: Dow 0.98%, S&P 500 0.99%, Nasdaq 1.10% (Updates market action, adds comments)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to rise for a third straight session on Friday, as investors expected top-level trade talks between the United States and China to result in a partial trade deal and delay planned U.S. tariff increases.

The three main indexes ended the previous session higher after gaining more than 1% in early trading on Thursday following optimism that the two sides could cool off their row before more U.S. tariffs kick in next week.

President Donald Trump said trade talks between the U.S. and Chinese officials on Thursday went well, and is set to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Analysts said equity markets have grown hungry for some sort of breakthrough in the latest round of negotiations.

“Over the last couple of months, we have seen firms taking a hit from the uncertainty around trade and markets will be looking for any clues to remove that uncertainty,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It is still going to be a one step forward, two steps backward tone with the talks, but there are hopes of a de-escalation.”

Companies with a sizeable exposure to China rose in premarket trading. Apple Inc was up 1.2%, while chipmakers Intel Corp, Nvidia Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc gained about 1.5%.

Wedbush raised its price target on the shares of the iPhone maker, citing optimism about the company’s Apple TV+ video streaming service.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp rose 1% and 1.2% respectively, as a report of an attack on an Iranian oil tanker lifted oil prices.

Still, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes were set for their fourth straight weekly fall after taking a hit from the recently announced weak economic data and irritants in the U.S.-China trade war.

At 8:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 260 points, or 0.98%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 29 points, or 0.99% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 85.5 points, or 1.1%.

Focus now shifts to third-quarter earnings starting next week as investors brace for the impact of the trade war on Corporate America.

Analysts are expecting a 3.1% drop in S&P 500 earnings, marking the first decline since 2016, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Investors are also betting on a third interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve by the end of the month to battle an economic downturn in the world’s largest economy. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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