US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open higher after strong retail sales data

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* Walmart gains after Q2 comp sales beat

* Cisco tumbles after forecast disappoints

* U.S. retail sales surge in July in boost to economy

By Amy Caren Daniel

Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose in volatiletrading on Thursday, as strong July retail sales data andWalmart's upbeat results eased some concerns about the economyslipping into recession, while mixed reports on the tradedispute kept investors on edge.

The bounce in shares comes after the blue-chip Dow indexposted its worst day this year, as recession fears gripped themarket after the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted for thefirst time in 12 years. US/

Sentiment got a boost after the Commerce Department saidretail sales rose 0.7% in July, much higher than theexpectations of a 0.3% rise, as consumers bought a range ofgoods even as they cut back on motor vehicle purchases. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nLNSFJEF8Y

"The July number shows that the weakest economic data thatpeople keep pointing out to for a global slowdown is coming fromoutside the U.S. not inside the U.S.," said Randy Frederick,vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab inAustin.

Futures initially dived after China's finance ministry saidon Thursday it would take necessary counter-measures against thelatest tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nB9N24U017

However in a separate statement, a Chinese foreign ministryspokeswoman said, "We hope the U.S. will meet China halfway, andimplement the consensus of the two heads of the two countries inOsaka," drove a turnaround in shares.

"It doesn't matter where we are right now. The number ofvariables affecting this market are increasing," said AndreBakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC inBernardsville, New Jersey.

Walmart IncWMT.N shares rose 6.8% after the retailerreported second-quarter U.S. comparable sales that beatestimates and boosted its earnings forecast for the year. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N25B082

In contrast, Dow component Cisco Systems IncCSCO.O dropped 7.5% after the Dow component blamed the bruising tradewar for poor quarterly forecasts. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N25A4WK

The network gearmaker said prices of some items sold by theretailer have climbed due to tariffs on Chinese imports, but itis managing that pressure by negotiating with suppliers andsourcing from alternate supply bases.

At 8:43 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 108 points, or0.42%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 11.75 points, or 0.41%and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 30.25 points, or 0.4%.

Trade worries have plagued financial markets for at least ayear fuelling fears of recession, and traders have raised theirbets on three rate cuts this year including one in September tosustain a decade-long bull market run on Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is now 6.6% away from itsall-time high hit in July. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Arjun Panchadar inBengaluru) ((Amy.CarenDaniel@thomsonreuters.com ; within U.S.+1-646-223-8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 9250 ; ReutersMessaging: Amy.CarenDaniel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Politics
Referenced Symbols: BABA ,

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