October 22, 2018 / 1:09 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher after China rally, Italian budget relief

* U.S.-listed Chinese stocks gain on China fiscal stimulus

* Hasbro drops on Q3 results miss; Mattel also slips

* Intel gains on Nomura upgrade

* Kimberly-Clark up on quarterly results beat

* Futures up: Dow 0.36 pct, S&P 0.38 pct, Nasdaq 0.80 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

Oct 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open higher at the start of a busy week of earnings on Monday, as global stocks rose on hopes of economic stimulus in China and an easing of tensions over Italy's debt.

Shanghai's benchmark blue-chip index surged over 4 percent after China promised to provide stimulus to stabilize its economy and offset the impact of U.S. tariffs.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese heavyweights Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu rose about 3 percent in premarket trading.

"Anytime you've got European markets or Asian markets trading higher as we come into our open, we tend to get a positive open," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

Investors also took relief from a Moody's report kept Italy's sovereign rating outlook at stable, boosting shares in Europe.

The Italian Treasury said it did not intend to further expand the budget deficit in 2020 and 2021, easing some worries about the country's debt.

"I am expecting a little bit of a bounce today, but the rest of this week is going to be volatile like we saw last week," Frederick added.

The S&P 500 ended last week with little gains as fears about global growth and rising interest rates induced volatility into markets and overshadowed some strong quarterly earnings reports.

Investors are looking ahead to earnings from about 160 S&P 500 companies this week, including those of Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon.

Ahead of the pivotal congressional elections, U.S. President Donald Trump said the administration was studying a tax cut for middle-income earners, which according to Charles Schwab's Fredrick, was adding to market optimism.

Helped by a strong economy and deep corporate tax cuts, profit of S&P 500 companies are expected to grow 22 percent in the third quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

At 8:55 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 91 points, or 0.36 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.38 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 56.75 points, or 0.8 percent.

Kimberly-Clark rose 1.6 percent after the Huggies diaper maker said its Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falk will step down and posted better-than-expected quarterly sales and profit.

Intel gained 1.1 percent after Nomura upgraded the stock to "buy", according to a trader.

Hasbro tumbled 5.7 percent after its quarterly results missed estimates, as the demise of major retail partner Toys 'R' Us hurt sales in the United States and Europe.

Rival Mattel also fell 3.8 percent. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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