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US STOCKS-Futures hold gains after benign inflation data

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* Core PCE rises 0.2 percent in December

* U.S. manufacturing activity data at 10 am ET

* Foot Locker jumps on Q4 same-store sales beat

* Futures rise: Dow 0.61 pct, S&P 0.56 pct, Nasdaq 0.65 pct (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

March 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher onFriday, setting up Wall Street's main indexes for a higher open,after data showed inflation remained benign in December.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, theFederal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, rose 0.2 percent,after excluding volatile food and energy components, following asimilar gain in November.

Investors are also awaiting the Institute for SupplyManagement (ISM) survey on U.S. manufacturing activity forFebruary which is expected to have slowed slightly from January.

Earlier, a private survey showed China's factory activitycontracted for a third straight month in February but at aslower pace, helping lift global equities.

"It's a China type day which is giving investors confidencethat all is well in China and that fear is probably off thetable," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New VinesCapital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

The Commerce Department said U.S. personal income fell forthe first time in more than three years in January, pointing toa moderate growth in consumer spending.

At 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 159 points, or0.61 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 15.5 points, or0.56 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 46.25 points,or 0.65 percent.

Wall Street's main indexes closed slightly lower on Thursdayas support from better-than-feared U.S. GDP data was counteredby concerns about earnings and U.S.-China trade relations.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX index has risen 11 percentsince the beginning of the year, bolstered by progress in tradetalks and the Federal Reserve's cautious stance on interestrates.

After President Donald Trump delayed a deadline that wouldhave triggered higher tariffs on Chinese imports, Bloombergreported on Thursday afternoon that a summit between Trump andhis Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign for a final tradedeal could happen as soon as mid-March.

Among shares trading premarket, Gap IncGPS.N surged 20.5percent after the company said it would separate itsbetter-performing Old Navy brand and shutter about 230 stores ofits struggling namesake apparel business.

Foot LockerFL.N jumped 12.7 percent after the footwearretailer reported quarterly same store sales above analysts'expectations. Its partner Nike Inc'sNKE.N shares rose about1.2 percent.

Tesla IncTSLA.O fell 4.1 percent after the electricautomaker said it would not be profitable in the first quarter.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Reuters

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