* China and U.S. to hold trade talks this month
* Boeing, Caterpillar gain on hopes of trade relief
* Walmart, Cisco gain on strong quarterly results
* Futures up: Dow 0.83 pct, S&P 0.49 pct, Nasdaq 0.58 pct (Adds comment, details; updates prices)
By Amy Caren Daniel
Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, helped by a string of robust earnings reports, a dip in the dollar and after China said it will hold trade talks with the United States later this month.
Walmart’s shares surged 10.9 percent in premarket trading after the retailer said its U.S. comparable sales grew the most in a decade and posted strong e-commerce sales.
Cisco jumped 6.3 percent after its quarterly results and first-quarter sales forecast topped Wall Street estimates.
Shares of trade-sensitive companies Boeing rose 2.1 percent and Caterpillar gained 1.5 percent on hopes that Beijing and Washington may resolve a conflict that has roiled financial markets since early March.
On Wednesday, trade worries, along with disappointing earnings and a strengthening dollar pushed the S&P 500 to its biggest one-day percentage drop since late June.
“Markets are looking for a rebound after Wednesday’s sell-off on news of U.S. and China resuming talks,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
“Any hopes of some sort of an agreement would relieve worries of a trade war and the markets would be able to focus on the macro news and earnings.”
At 8:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 210 points, or 0.83 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.49 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 43 points, or 0.58 percent.
JC Penney slumped 22.0 percent after the department store chain cut its full-year forecast and posted lower-than-expected quarterly results.
JD.com dropped 1.4 percent after China’s second largest ecommerce firm reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ estimates.
The result comes a day after Tencent Holdings reported its first profit decline in over a decade, putting pressure on the U.S. technology sector.
Symantec jumped 6.1 percent after hedge fund Starboard Value LP nominated five directors to its board after taking a 5.8 percent stake in the cyber-security firm.
Second-quarter earnings have been stronger than expected, with 79 percent of the 460 S&P 500 that have reported so far beating analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)