July 31, 2018 / 3:54 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Industrials boost Wall St on renewed trade hopes

* U.S. and China to restart trade talks - Bloomberg

* Core inflation near Fed target; Central bank meet to start

* Chipotle falls on food poisoning complaints

* Indexes up: Dow 0.48 pct, S&P 0.48 pct, Nasdaq 0.48 pct (Changes comment, updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

July 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, led by industrial companies, after a report that the U.S. and China were trying to resume negotiations to defuse a trade war between world’s two largest economies.

Representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are having private conversations as they look for ways to reengage in negotiations, Bloomberg reported, citing sources. (bloom.bg/2mZgU3V)

The escalating trade dispute between the two countries, with the United States and China imposing tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s goods earlier this month, has weighed heavily on the equity markets. The likelihood of a respite boosted the markets, with nine of the 11 major S&P sectors higher.

The industrials sector jumped 1.74 percent and was on pace for its best one-day gain in three weeks. Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M jumped between 1.7 percent and 2.5 percent.

“The notion that side talks are happening has been an ongoing thing, but the question is who is really involved in those talks and if they are substantial,” said Jason Browne, chief investment strategist at FundX Investment Group in San Francisco.

“Overall people are trying to look for something other than technology stocks at the moment.”

After a three-day slide, the technology sector rose 0.39 percent. Microsoft gained 0.7 percent and was the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq.

Apple, due to report after the bell, was marginally lower. Others in the so-called FAANG group — Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet — were flat to up 1 percent.

At 11:23 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 121.44 points, or 0.48 percent, at 25,428.27, the S&P 500 was up 13.52 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,816.12 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 36.65 points, or 0.48 percent, at 7,666.65.

Core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, rose 1.9 percent year-over-year in June, the Commerce Department said.

The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged when it wraps up its two-day meeting on Wednesday and has forecast two more rate hikes by December.

Still, the financial sector fell 0.62 percent, with bank stocks the biggest drags on the S&P and the Dow.

Among stocks, Pfizer’s shares rose 3.1 percent, reversing course from premarket losses, after the drugmaker’s quarterly results topped estimates.

Chipotle Mexican Grill sank 6.1 percent after at least 140 people said they had fallen sick after eating at an Ohio restaurant of the burrito chain operator.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.09-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.72-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 16 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 18 new highs and 59 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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