May 1, 2019 / 1:04 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for strong open as investors cheer Apple results

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* Apple up as China sales steady, upbeat on accessories

* AMD rises on strong Q1, buoys chipmakers

* CVS jumps after raising FY profit forecast

* Fed to announce interest rate decision later in the day

* Futures up: Dow 0.36%, S&P 0.34%, Nasdaq 0.71% (Updates prices, adds prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

May 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set to open higher on Wednesday, as Apple Inc's stellar results and forecast calmed concerns over slowing growth in corporate profits in the run up to the Federal Reserve's latest policy announcement.

Shares of the iPhone maker jumped 5.1% in premarket trading after it said sales in China were steadying and touted how rising demand for its services and accessories helped offset a record drop in iPhone revenue.

The company also announced plans for a new $75 billion share buyback and bumped up its cash dividend by 5%.

Apple's shares were set to boost the S&P 500 index, which clocked another record closing high on Tuesday and registered its best four-month rally in nearly nine years.

Analysts are now more optimistic on first-quarter earnings growth and expect a 0.7% rise compared with a 2% fall estimated at the beginning of April, according to Refinitiv data.

"Many were expecting an earnings recession and we haven't had that and we're still positive on growth," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

"Its been a good earnings season overall, Apple could potentially be positive for the tech sector overall."

Besides a largely upbeat earnings season, recent gains in shares have also been powered by positive economic data, a dovish Federal Reserve and signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

Investors will also look for direction on monetary policy when the Fed concludes its two-day meeting later in the day.

The central bank is largely expected to keep borrowing costs unchanged and maintain a 'patient' monetary policy stance, despite President Donald Trump's call to cut rates.

At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 96 points, or 0.36%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.34% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 55 points, or 0.71%.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc added 4.6% after the chipmaker's quarterly revenue and profit beat Wall Street estimates as it sold more chips in data centers and servers.

Other chip stocks also rose with Nvidia Corp, Qualcomm Inc and Micron Technology Inc up between 0.8% and 1.4%.

CVS Health Corp jumped 5.5% after the drugstore chain operator and pharmacy benefits manager raised its full-year profit forecast after reporting a quarterly profit beat.

Estee Lauder rose 4.1% as the cosmetics maker raised its full-year forecasts after reporting quarterly results above expectations.

Apart from earnings reports, investors will also focus on U.S.-China trade talks. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the two countries held "productive" talks in Beijing on Wednesday and will continue discussions in Washington next week.

ADP's national employment data for April showed 275,000 new private-sector job additions, higher than consensus estimate of 180,000 additions.

The private survey comes ahead of the much anticipated monthly non-farm payrolls report from the Labor Department on Friday, which is expected to show fewer job additions last month compared to March.

Another set of data from the Institute of Supply Management at 10 a.m. ET, is expected to show manufacturing PMI edged lower to 55.0 in April from 55.3 in March. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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