April 5, 2018 / 5:46 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs as trade fears ebb

* Facebook up, CEO says no “meaningful impact” on ad sales

* Energy stocks lead gains on S&P 500

* VIX hits lowest in two weeks

* Indexes up: Dow 1.15 pct, S&P 0.85 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Sruthi Shankar

April 5 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Thursday afternoon as investors shrugged off fears of an escalating trade conflict between the United States and China and looked forward to the quarterly earnings season.

Boeing, among the worst hit stocks on Wednesday after China retaliated with $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods, rose 2.4 percent, pulling up the Dow.

On Wednesday, the Dow dived more than 500 points after China and U.S. imposed tariffs on each others products, but closed up 230 points after President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration was involved in a “negotiation” with China rather than a trade war.

“There is a lot of bad news on the trade front built into the market. So the ability of the equity markets to push significantly lower is going to be limited,” said John Brady, senior vice president at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago.

“We’re going to need brand new, bad news on trade for the equity markets to push lower.”

China’s state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday that the country will win any trade war with the United States.

Wall Street’s fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility index eased to a two-week low at 19.21 points.

At 13:09 ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.15 percent at 24,542.21. The S&P 500 rose 0.85 percent to 2,667.22 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7 percent at 7,091.65.

The S&P and the Dow were on track to post their first three-day gains in about a month.

Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 2,2 percent rise in the S&P energy index as oil prices rose.

Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix - collectively known as the “FANG” group - were up between 1 percent and 3 percent.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company had not seen “any meaningful impact” on usage or ad sales since the data privacy scandal.

Amazon rose 3.2 percent after being repeatedly hammered this week by Trump’s attacks on the online retailer.

Advanced Micro Devices jumped 3.8 percent after Stifel upgraded to “buy”, while Micron Technology fell 6.44 percent after UBS started coverage with a “sell” rating.

The S&P 500 showed five new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 51 new highs and 25 new lows.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 2.85-to-1 ratio and on the Nasdaq, for a 1.80-to-1 ratio. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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