October 11, 2019 / 3:57 PM / 10 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street rallies on trade deal hopes; Apple hits record high

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* S&P 500, Dow set to snap three-week losing streak

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

* Apple hits record high on trade, Wedbush PT bump

* Indexes up: Dow 1.84%, S&P 500 1.84%, Nasdaq 2.01% (Updates market action, adds comments)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose for the 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.

Shares of Apple Inc hit a record high and were the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, while the technology sector was headed for its best day in five weeks.

President Donald Trump said the trade negotiations were going well, and he would meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He later in the day. The top-level discussions enter their second day on Friday.

“The President seems to indicate that there is a possibility of an interim trade deal,” said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

“The thought is that there will be some conciliatory moves from both sides, as news earlier in the week had investors worried that these talks might be moving in the wrong direction.”

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes looked set to break a three-week losing streak on optimism that the world’s top two economies could cool off their row before more U.S. tariffs kick in next week.

Investors also moved into cyclical sectors such as financials, ahead of the third-quarter earnings season set to begin with banks reporting next week.

The S&P 500 bank index jumped 3%, on track for its best day in a month, on expectations that strength in mortgage banking and cheap valuations could provide support to some of the biggest U.S. lenders.

However, analysts see S&P 500 earnings dropping 3.2% year-on-year, marking the first decline since 2016, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Bets for another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve fell amid data showing a rise in consumer sentiment for the month of October.

Chipmakers with a sizeable exposure to China rose in early trading, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index jumping 2.8%.

Apple rose 2.1% as Wedbush raised its price target, citing confidence in the company’s new video streaming service.

At 11:37 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 488.82 points, or 1.84%, at 26,985.49, the S&P 500 was up 54.18 points, or 1.84%, at 2,992.31 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 159.43 points, or 2.01%, at 8,110.21.

The industrial sector gained 2.6%, boosted by a 17.7% surge in shares of Fastenal Co after the industrial distributor beat quarterly profit expectations.

Defensive utilities was the only sector trading in the red, while consumer staples and real estate stocks posted the smallest gains, suggesting an uptick in risk appetite.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 4.18-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 5.33-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 41 new highs and 31 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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