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US: Wall St higher as US-China trade war worries ebb

[WASHINGTON] Wall Street rebounded from last week's trade tariff driven selloff to open higher on Monday, taking comfort in comments from the Trump administration officials who stressed the trade dispute with China could be resolved through talks.

The week also marks the start of earning season with big US banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo set to report first-quarter results on Friday.

Investors expect tax cuts to help corporate America show its biggest quarterly profit growth in seven years.

At 9.48 am EDT the Dow Jones industrial average was up 138.69 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 24,071.45.

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The S&P 500 was up 13.8 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 2,618.27 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 67.97 points, or 0.98 per cent, at 6,983.08.

Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher and 28 of the 30 Dow components were in the positive territory. Boeing was the biggest to the Dow, while gains in Apple shares led the gainers on the S&P 500.

AveXis stock rose 79 per cent after Swiss drugmaker Novartis offered to buy the gene therapy company for US$8.7 billion.

Merck's shares rose 2.8 per cent after the drugmaker's blockbuster cancer drug, Keytruda, met the main study goal of helping previously untreated lung cancer patients live longer.

Shares of Leucadia National climbed 7.5 per cent after the company said it would sell most of its non-financial assets to focus on investment banking and capital market businesses.

General Motors was up 1 per cent after Morgan Stanley raised it to "overweight".

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 1.88-to-1 ratio on the upside. On the Nasdaq, 1,642 issues rose and 791 fell for a 2.08-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 index showed no new 52-week highs and 1 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 17 new highs and 9 new lows.

REUTERS