March 29, 2019 / 1:00 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open higher on trade optimism

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* U.S., China hold ‘constructive’ trade talks in Beijing

* 10-year yields off 15-mth low; Banks rise premarket

* DowDuPont falls as brokerages cut PTs

* U.S. consumer spending barely rises in Jan

* Futures up: Dow 0.50 pct, S&P 0.43 pct, Nasdaq 0.46 pct (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

March 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open higher on Friday, the last trading day of the quarter, as the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks ended on a positive note.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he held “constructive” talks in Beijing, concluding the latest round of dialogue, which will be followed by a round in Washington next week.

Shares of big lenders rose in premarket trading, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields inched higher after coming off its 15-month lows in the previous session.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs rose about 0.8 percent each.

Wall Street was rattled by fears of economic growth after the Federal Reserve abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes in 2019 and the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007 last week.

The yield curve between three-month bills and 10-year notes remains inverted, and if it persists, it could indicate a recession is likely in one to two years.

Still, the benchmark S&P 500 index was set to post its best quarterly gain since September 2009.

“It has been a surprisingly strong quarter. People are feeling much better than they were in the beginning of the first quarter and that’s a positive sign, but there are still some concerns like trade, and the inverted yield curve,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

“If you get a deal on trade, investors will start to feel better and that’s one concern that goes away, and maybe earnings will start to improve from the second quarter this year.”

At 8:42 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 129 points, or 0.5 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 12.25 points, or 0.43 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 33.75 points, or 0.46 percent.

In the latest evidence that suggested the economy was fast losing momentum, U.S. consumer spending rebounded less than expected in January and incomes rose modestly in February.

On Thursday, data showed U.S. GDP growth slowed in the fourth quarter, keeping it below the 3 percent target.

Among stocks, a highly anticipated initial public offering of a ride-hailing startup Lyft Inc, valued at $24.3 billion, is set to start trading on the Nasdaq at about 10:45 a.m. ET.

Wells Fargo climbed 2.0 percent after it said Tim Sloan will resign immediately as chief executive, becoming the second CEO to leave the bank in the fallout of a wide-ranging sales practices scandal.

Shares of Carmax Inc gained 5.7 percent after the used vehicle retailer reported quarterly profit that topped Wall Street estimates.

DowDuPont fell 1.3 percent after two brokerages cut their price targets for the chemical company’s stock, citing bad weather and margin pressures.

A separate report at 10 a.m. ET, is expected to show new home sales having grown to 620,000 units in February, up from 607,000 units in January. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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