Wall Street set for higher open on encouraging China data, earnings

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(Reuters) – Wall Street was set to open higher on Wednesday, as upbeat economic data from China and a jump in Qualcomm shares sparked gains in chipmakers, with sentiment also lifted by largely positive earnings reports.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

China’s economy grew at a steady 6.4% pace in the first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, adding to optimism that the economy may be starting to stabilize even as Beijing and Washington appear moving closer to a trade deal.

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

Qualcomm Inc surged 12.2% after the company won a major victory in its legal dispute with Apple Inc that called for the iPhone to once again use Qualcomm modem chips.

Shares of Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia Corp were up between 0.7% and 4.41%.

“We’ve had a tailwind from Chinese economic data, and in general earnings reports have been mixed, but for the most part it was better-than-feared,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National