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Company News

US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs ahead of Apple event

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* Losses in Citi, JPM shares pressure banks index

* Apple top boost to S&P 500, Nasdaq

* Tesla gains for fifth straight session

* Indexes up: Dow 0.45%, S&P 0.93%, Nasdaq 1.52% (Updates to early afternoon)

Sept 15 (Reuters) - Tech stocks pushed Wall Street higher on Tuesday led by Apple shares ahead of a launch event by the company, while investors hoped the Federal Reserve would continue with its dovish stance as the central bank’s two-day meeting got underway.

Apple Inc’s 1.8% rise was the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in the run-up to a broadcast event, where the company is expected to unveil updates to products such as the Apple watch and iPads. The event begins at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT).

“(Apple is) always trying to introduce something that is game changing (and) Wall Street is looking to the Apple event and expecting something favorable to come out of it,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA in New York.

The tech index jumped 1.5%, extending its recovery from a brutal sell-off earlier this month that had halted a Wall Street rally.

“The correction has probably run its course and markets are now back to focusing on some of the positives,” said John Praveen, portfolio manager at QMA.

“Some positive news on the vaccine front and economic data suggest this global recovery after the COVID recession is on track, and the markets are supported by a very friendly Fed.”

In its first policy meeting since Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced a more accommodative stance on inflation, the central bank could switch its Treasury purchases toward more long-dated debt to keep long-term yields low, some strategists said.

Expectations from the Fed have increased amid a stalemate in talks for fiscal relief and economic reports suggesting an uneven recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession.

Data on Tuesday showed U.S. factory output increased strongly in August. Separately, U.S. import prices increased more than expected for the same month, supporting the view that inflation pressures were building up.

Earlier in the day data showed China’s industrial output accelerated the most in eight months in August.

At 12:28 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 125.51 points, or 0.45%, at 28,118.84, the S&P 500 was up 31.57 points, or 0.93%, at 3,415.11. The Nasdaq Composite was up 168.22 points, or 1.52%, at 11,224.87.

Citigroup Inc dropped 3.7% following a report that federal regulators were preparing to reprimand the U.S. lender for failing to improve its risk-management systems.

JPMorgan Chase & Co slipped 2.1% as it lowered its full-year net interest income forecast.

The banks sub-index slipped 1.7%.

Tesla Inc added 5.8%, rising for the fifth day, as anticipation heats up for its “Battery Day” event next week, where Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is expected to tout the latest improvements in the electric-car maker’s battery technology.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.08-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.68-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 58 new highs and 12 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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