May 15, 2020 / 10:41 AM / 10 days ago

US STOCKS-Futures edge higher on China industrial data

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* Futures up: Dow 0.21%, S&P 0.17%, Nasdaq 0.41%

By Ambar Warrick

May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday as better-than-expected industrial data from China raised hopes of an eventual economic recovery from coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Wall Street’s main indexes ended a choppy session higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 rising more than 1% as investors looked forward to the prospect of some states lifting curbs on business and social activities.

However, all three major U.S. stock indexes were set for their worst week since mid-March, as sobering comments on the outbreak from major U.S. officials pointed to a longer period of economic weakness, while worries of a renewed Sino-U.S. trade war added to the gloom.

President Donald Trump on Thursday signaled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the virus outbreak, saying he has no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy.

At 6:08 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 50 points, or 0.21%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.17% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 37 points, or 0.41%.

Chinese industrial output rose for the first time this year in April, indicating that certain facets of the economy would be able to bounce back quickly from the outbreak.

However, retail sales in China fell more than expected in April, pointing to a large dent in consumption.

U.S. retail sales are also expected to mark a second straight month of record declines in April due to the pandemic. The Commerce Department’s report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Among stocks, Applied Materials Inc rose 4.1% premarket as the chip gear maker said it expects supply chains to gain strength in the second half of the year and help it recoup sales lost due to the COVID-19 disruption.

Abbott Laboratories slipped 3% after U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the company’s speedy coronavirus test could potentially be inaccurate, but can still be used to test patients.

SPDR S&P 500 ETFs were up 0.2%. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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