November 18, 2019 / 6:56 PM / 21 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St at record levels after U.S. extends Huawei reprieve

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* Chipmakers rise as U.S. grants 90-day extension to Huawei

* HP dips after rejecting Xerox's $33.5 bln bid

* Coty gains on stake in Kylie Jenner's businesses

* Indexes: Dow up 0.07%, S&P & Nasdaq flat (Updates to early afternoon)

By Arjun Panchadar

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes hit record highs on Monday as Washington's decision to grant an extension for U.S. companies to do business with China's Huawei helped ease some concerns around U.S.-China trade relations.

The Chinese telecom equipment maker has been a bone of contention in the trade dispute, after the United States added it to an economic blacklist in May, citing national security concerns.

The three main indexes had opened lower after CNBC reported that the mood in Beijing about a deal was pessimistic due to President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs.

Investors had turned optimistic over the weekend after Chinese state media said the two sides had held "constructive" trade talks, days after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said they were close to a deal.

"This (CNBC report) shows that progress doesn't happen in a straight line and that is starting to frustrate people today. It feels very herky-jerky," said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher. Technology shares reversed course to trade slightly higher, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor index gained 0.30%.

However, defensives such as utilities, real estate and consumer staples, also known as bond proxies due to their high dividend yields, were the biggest gainers.

The energy sector dropped 1.59%, the most among all, as oil prices fell.

Global stocks got a boost earlier in the day from a surprise cut in a key interest rate by China for the first time in more than four years.

Later this week, investors will turn their attention to minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting, where the central bank cut interest rates for the third time this year.

Also ahead are results from U.S. retailers, including Home Depot Inc, Kohl's Corp and Target Corp.

At 01:24 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 20.23 points, or 0.07%, at 28,025.12, the S&P 500 was up 0.63 points, or 0.02%, at 3,121.09 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.46 points, or 0.01%, at 8,541.28.

Shares of HP Inc fell 1.34% after the company rebuffed a $33.5 billion offer from Xerox Holdings Corp and said it was open to exploring a bid for the latter.

Coty Inc gained 2% after the cosmetics maker said it would pay $600 million for a majority stake in Kylie Jenner's make-up and skincare businesses.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 37 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 86 new highs and 108 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Arun Koyyur)

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