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US STOCKS-Wall Street set for higher open as Fed expected to hold fire


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(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ ortype LIVE/ in a news window)

* Big U.S. banks among early gainers

* Boeing eyes 5th session of decline after March 10 crash

* Futures rise: Dow 0.37 pct, S&P 0.34 pct, Nasdaq 0.41 pct

* U.S. factory orders data due at 10:00 a.m. ET (Adds comment, details; Updates prices)

By Medha Singh

March 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set torise at open on Tuesday as investors expected a moreaccommodative policy stance at the end of U.S. Federal Reserve'stwo-day meeting this week.

A flurry of downbeat economic data this month has supportedmarket expectations that the Fed may reinforce a halt to furtherinterest rates hikes. The central bank will conclude itsdeliberations with a news conference on Wednesday.

Investors will also be watching out for the "dot plot," adiagram showing individual policymakers' rate views for the nextthree years, along with details on the Fed's plans to reduceholdings in bonds. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2111IR

"There is optimism that the Fed is going to keep rates onhold, the economy is chugging along and we don't see anyinflation," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist andsenior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

"Investors don't want to miss out on the low interest rateenvironment which will help fuel the rise in stock prices."

Some big U.S. lenders were among early movers with GoldmanSachs Group IncGS.N , Citigroup IncC.N , JPMorgan Chase & CoJPM.N up nearly 0.7 percent in premarket trading.

Among FAANG stocks — Facebook IncFB.O , Amazon.com IncAMZN.O , Apple IncAAPlO , Netflix IncNFLX.O and AlphabetInc GOOGL.O rose between 0.5 percent and 1.1 percent.

At 8:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 96 points, or0.37 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 9.75 points, or0.34 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 30.5 points,or 0.41 percent.

In a bright spot, oil prices hovered near 2019 highs,supported by OPEC-led supply cuts. O/R

Optimism that the Fed will remain less aggressive in raisingrates and hopes of a resolution to a bitter trade disputebetween the U.S. and China helped the markets claw back most oftheir losses from late last year.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX hovers at a five-month high andis just 3.5 percent away from its September record closing high.

On Monday all three main indexes closed higher, boosted bytechnology and financial stocks, marking the benchmark index .SPX and the tech-heavy Nasdaq's .IXIC fifth rise in lastsix sessions.

The blue-chip Dow's .DJI advance has been hindered byBoeing Co BA.N as the world's largest planemaker facesincreased scrutiny in the wake of two deadly crashes of its 737MAX aircraft in five months. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N21602Q

Boeing shares dipped 0.2 percent on Tuesday after sheddingabout 12 percent since the March 10 plane crash in Ethiopia.

Chip designer Nvidia CorpNVDA.O rose 1.7 percent onpartnering with Softbank Group Corp9984.T and LG Uplus Corp032640.KS to deploy cloud gaming servers in Japan and Korealater this year. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2151H1

Yum Brands IncYUM.N fell 1.4 percent after J.P.Morgandowngraded the restaurant chain owner's stock to "neutral" from"overweight".

In economic news, data at 10 a.m. ET is expected to show neworders for U.S.-made goods rose 0.3 percent in January afteredging up 0.1 percent the month before. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru;Editing by Shounak Dasgupta) ((Medha.Singh@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1646 223 8780,outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters Messaging:medha.singh.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))






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