September 20, 2018 / 1:09 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher as tech bounces back

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* Tech stocks bounce back, FAANGs climb premarket

* AMD higher after Stifel raises price target

* Under Armour gains after cutting its global workforce

* GE falls after disclosing issues with its gas turbines

* Futures up: Dow 0.47 pct, S&P 0.37 pct, Nasdaq 0.58 pct (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Sept 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher opening on Thursday, extending a bounce since the latest blows in the U.S.-China trade spat this week on the back of a recovery for technology stocks.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq, which has gained the most of Wall Street’s three big indexes this year despite the trade hiccups, ended the session slightly lower on Wednesday but showed signs of a higher opening.

Among components of the FAANG group of stocks, Netflix inched up 0.8 percent in premarket trading, after ending the session lower on Wednesday. Facebook, Apple , Amazon.com and Google parent Alphabet were all higher.

Chipmakers Intel and Micron rose 1.2 percent and 2.5 percent.

Advanced Micro Devices, rose 2 percent after Stifel raised its price target on the chipmaker’s shares and said Intel’s struggle to meet demand would open the door for AMD to gain more market share.

“Technology stocks are very much back in the game, there are no broad-based calls of the tech rally being over,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

After having slapped new tariffs on each other’s goods this week, China now hopes that Washington will show sincerity and take steps to correct its behavior.

Shares of trade-sensitive Caterpillar were up 1.8 percent, on track for a fourth straight day of gains as investors hoped for an improvement in Sino-U.S. trade rhetoric.

“Just a lack of trade war escalation in the past few sessions, have been good for the markets because trade is the one thing that really lifts up the risk sentiment,” Antonelli added.

At 8:43 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 124 points, or 0.47 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.75 points, or 0.37 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 43.5 points, or 0.58 percent.

Data from the Labor Department showed U.S. weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week, hitting a near 49-year low in a sign the job market remains strong.

Under Armour was last up 2.6 percent after the sportswear maker said it would cut about 400 global workforce positions, as part of efforts to cut costs to compete with Nike and Germany’s Adidas in North America.

Nike climbed 1.1 percent after brokerage Susquehanna highlighted the company’s improving sales of footwear.

Darden Restaurants rose 4.3 percent after the company surpassed same-store sales estimates, boosted by sales at its biggest revenue generating chain, Olive Garden.

However, General Electric dropped 1.7 percent after the company flagged issues with its new H-class gas turbine.

Red Hat slid 5.6 percent after the Linux operating system distributor reported lower-than-expected revenue, hurt by disappointing subscription revenue, and forecasted current-quarter results below estimates.

Data from the National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. ET is expected to show existing home sales have slightly risen in August. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Shounak Dasgupta)

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