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Wall Street set for higher open on trade deal hopes


By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Wednesday, lifted by hopes that the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks could result in an agreement, while benign inflation data did little to change the outlook on interest rates.

"So far, so good," said about the talks in Beijing, a day after said he would be willing to let a March 1 deadline slide if the two countries were close to a deal.

"The market is taking into consideration the fact that they are talking and there's also the deal to avoid another possible government shutdown which is being viewed as a positive," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager, at in

Trade-sensitive industrial bellwethers rose 0.6 percent, while gained 1.4 percent.

"Inflation is right in line with expectations...There is no need to bring the Fed into the picture now," Pavlik said.

Data showed U.S. consumer prices were unchanged for a third straight month in January, leading to the smallest annual increase in inflation in more than 1-1/2 years, which could allow the Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady for a while.

In late-January, the Fed indicated its three-year-drive to tighten monetary policy may be at an end and said it would be "patient" before making any further moves.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is nearly 17 percent above its December lows, helped by the dovish Federal Reserve, optimism on trade and a largely upbeat fourth-quarter earnings season.

Also in focus was a tight deadline that was up against to pass a bipartisan accord to avert another partial shutdown, with multiple reports that Trump planned to sign the deal.

At 8:46 a.m. ET, Dow were up 85 points, or 0.33 percent. S&P 500 were up 7.75 points, or 0.28 percent and Nasdaq 100 were up 32.75 points, or 0.47 percent.

The fourth-quarter earnings season is in the last leg, and about 71 percent of S&P 500 companies that have reported have beaten consensus estimates.

Analysts now estimate that first-quarter earnings will decline 0.3 percent, which would be the first loss since the earnings recession ended in the second quarter of 2016.

rose 3.9 percent premarket after the announced share buyback plan and job cuts.

Rivals also gained, with up 1.2 percent and 0.8 percent higher.

fell 5.6 percent after the U.S. service provider lost more-than-expected pay-TV subscribers in the fourth quarter.

rose 4.5 percent after the firm's quarterly results beat estimates and it hiked its quarterly dividend.

(Reporting by and in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 19:48 IST