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US STOCKS-Kudlow's comments on trade keep Wall Street afloat



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* High-level US-China trade talks start Thursday

* Nvidia increases as RBC raises PT, Nasdaq increases

* Dow and S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq up 0.13% (Updates to early afternoon, add comments)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

7. October (Reuters) – US stocks erase early losses on trading flat on Monday, as White House Economic Council Larry Kudlow commented on the outcome of the week's high-level trade talks with China, with Nasdaq also bolstered by chipmaker Nvidia.

It was possible that the two sides could make progress during the talks in Washington and the United States were open to looking at Beijing's proposal, Kudlow told reporters.

Analysts said that the comments were not of much substance and that it could be preventing investors from making greater efforts.

"Investors are tired of the same song and dance from admin istration. They won't buy in full until something materializes from the meeting," said Matt Ruffalo, senior strategist at Clarfeld Financial Advisors in New Jersey.

Customs concessions last month had given hope of a solution to the protracted dispute, but reports that Beijing was increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad agreement followed by President Donald Trump weighed in on sentiment.

The White House officially confirmed that high-level negotiations would start on Thursday.

Wall Street logged a choppy start to October about fears of mixed economic indicators and intensified efforts to impeach Trump, but it was offset by increasing efforts by a third rate cut this year by the Federal Reserve.

Another alert has emerged with first-hand knowledge of Trump's attempt to get the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, officials for the official said Sunday.

Investors will now turn to the third quarter earning season, which begins next week with US banks reporting, for more clarity on the impact of the trade war on Corporate America.

Analysts expect the lowest quarterly earnings trend since 2016, with S&P 500 earnings seen falling almost 3% from a year earlier, based on IBES data from Refinitive.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.46 points, or 0.01%, at 26,572.26 and the S&P 500 was up 0.65 points, or 0.02%, at 2,952.66.

The Nasdaq Composite increased by 10.23 points, or 0.13%, to 7,992.70.

The gain in the tech heavy index was driven by a 2.3% increase in Nvidia Corp. RBC Capital Markets raised its price target on the semiconductor manufacturer, citing improved gaming and data center demand.

E * Trade Financial Corp rose 2.3% after UBS upgraded the online broker's shares to "buy".

Declining emissions exceeded the number of advancers for a 1.00-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Progress problems were lower than the number of falling declines of 1.23 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded eight new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 20 new highs and 64 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Sriraj Kalluvila)


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