May 22, 2018 / 2:21 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street gains as U.S.-China trade talks gather pace

* Ford, GM rise after China cuts car import tariffs

* JCP falls after its CEO moves to Lowe’s

* Indexes up: Dow 0.05 pct, S&P 0.21 pct, Nasdaq 0.27 pct (Updates to open)

By Medha Singh

May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, adding to gains from a day earlier, as the United States and China made progress on reducing trade tensions after agreeing to put their differences on hold.

Washington neared a deal to lift its ban on U.S. firms supplying Chinese telecoms gear maker ZTE Corp, sources said on Tuesday, while Beijing said it will steeply cut import tariffs for automobiles and car parts.

Shares of Ford, General Motors, as well as the U.S.-listed shares of Fiat, were up between 1 percent and 2.4 percent.

“The market is taking very well to what appears to be the fact that Trump is able to maneuver the trade talks in our favor,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey. “We’re seeing a continuation of that positive momentum this morning.”

Micron jumped 6.9 percent after announcing a $10 billion share buyback following a raised quarterly forecast on Monday, helping the technology index rise 0.3 percent.

A 4.2 percent gain in Lowe’s Cos after the home improvement chain named J.C. Penney’s Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison to the top position boosted consumer discretionary stocks.

J.C. Penney’s tumbled 4.2 percent.

At 9:59 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 12.78 points, or 0.05 percent, at 25,026.07 and the S&P 500 was up 5.81 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,738.82. The Nasdaq Composite was up 19.98 points, or 0.27 percent, at 7,414.01.

Declines in Caterpillar and Boeing, which drove gains on Monday, weighed on the blue-chip Dow.

Toll Brothers declined 7.3 percent after disappointing second-quarter profit and weighed on other homebuilders. Lennar dipped 1.7 percent, while PulteGroup slid 2 percent.

The possibility of a ZTE reprieve helped shares of optical component makers. Acacia Communications, which got 30 percent of its 2017 revenue from ZTE, rose 1.4 percent, while Oclaro gained 1.1 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.41-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.33-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 18 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 90 new highs and 9 new lows.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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