US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open on encouraging China data, earnings

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

* Netflix reverses early losses after Q1 results

* S&P 500 less than 1% from record high

* China's Q1 growth unexpectedly steadies

* Futures up: Dow 0.19%, S&P 0.29%, Nasdaq 0.53% (Adds comment, updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

April 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher onWednesday, as upbeat economic data from China and a jump inQualcomm shares sparked gains in chipmakers, with sentiment alsolifted by largely positive earnings reports.

China's economy grew at a steady 6.4% pace in the firstquarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, adding tooptimism that the economy may be starting to stabilize even asBeijing and Washington appear moving closer to a trade deal.

The data, along with semiconductor equipment maker ASML'sASML.AS forecast of faster growth due to demand from China,lifted semiconductor stocks in premarket trading.

Qualcomm IncQCOM.O surged 12.2% after the company won amajor victory in its legal dispute with Apple IncAAPL.O thatcalled for the iPhone to once again use Qualcomm modemchips.

Shares of Intel CorpINTC.O , Advanced Micro DevicesAMD.O and Nvidia CorpNVDA.O were up between 0.7% and 4.41%.

"We've had a tailwind from Chinese economic data, and ingeneral earnings reports have been mixed, but for the most partit was better-than-feared," said Art Hogan, chief marketstrategist at National Securities in New York.

"We've bounced up to a level where we are pretty fairlyvalued and we are going to need something significantly new likethe U.S.-China trade deal for a higher estimate in 2019."

At 8:49 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 50 points, or0.19%. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 8.5 points, or 0.29% andNasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 40.75 points, or 0.53%.

If current premarket gains hold, the S&P 500 will open 0.9%below the record high hit in late September. Stocks have surgedthis year on growing hopes of a trade deal with China andbetter-than-expected earnings reports.

With earnings season in full swing, analysts now expectfirst-quarter S&P 500 profits to have dropped 1.8% year-on-year,according to Refinitiv data. While a solid improvement overrecent estimates, it would still mark the first earningscontraction since 2016.

Of the 42 S&P 500 companies that have posted so far, 81%have beaten consensus, compared with the 65% average beat rategoing back to 1994.

Netflix Inc shares NFLX.O reversed course to gain 3.4%.The video streaming service provider gave a weak forecast butits quarterly results beat estimates.

International Business Machines CorpIBM.N fell 2.7% afterreporting a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue.

PepsiCo IncPEP.O rose 2.1% after quarterly results beatWall Street estimates on higher demand for its snacks andlow-sugar sodas.

United Continental Holdings IncUAL.O rose 3.2% afterreporting a better-than-expected jump in quarterly profit andlifted other airline stocks.

Morgan Stanley shares MS.N rose 1.7% after the lenderreported quarterly profit above expectations, wrapping upearnings for big U.S. banks.

At 2 p.m. ET, the Federal Reserve issues its so-called BeigeBook, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy,drawn from the central bank's sources across the nation. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila) ((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;))

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

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