May 10, 2018 / 1:17 PM / 14 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for gains after soft inflation data

* Qualcomm rises on $10 bln share buyback plan

* U.S. consumer prices rise 0.2 pct in April vs est 0.3 pct

* Futures up: Dow 62 pts, S&P 8.5 pts, Nasdaq 23 pts (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

May 10 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Thursday after a weaker-than-expected rise in U.S. consumer prices in April cooled fears of rising inflation.

A Labor Department report showed its consumer price index rose 0.2 percent, below the economists’ expectation of 0.3 percent as rising costs for gasoline and rental accommodation were tempered by a moderation in healthcare prices.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, core CPI rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in April, matching March’s increase.

The stock market has been riding on an oil rally for the past two days after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a nuclear deal with Iran.

Oil prices were on track for their biggest weekly increase in a month on expectations of potential disruption to crude flows from major exporter Iran as the United States plans to reimpose sanctions.

Rising oil prices have helped the S&P 500 energy index outperform other major sectors in the quarter with gains of 12.6 percent.

“The market wants to see a breakout in a particular sector,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York. “So far we’ve had in energy.”

“If the kind of gains we saw yesterday holds over, people will move into the market. The next level of resistance to watch is probably around where we closed 2,700.”

At 8:52 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 62 points, or 0.25 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.5 points, or 0.32 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 23 points, or 0.33 percent.

Among stocks, Qualcomm rose 2.0 percent after the chipmaker approved a new $10 billion share buyback program that replaces the previous $15 billion program.

Nvidia, which is set to report earnings after the closing bell on Thursday, was up 1.1 percent.

Macy’s dropped 3.3 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the retailer’s stock to “underweight”.

Roku jumped more than 5.2 percent after the TV streaming device maker reported a smaller-than-feared quarterly loss, while its revenue beat estimates. Its shares were the most traded premarket. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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