November 22, 2019 / 3:59 PM / 13 days ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow Jones edge higher on trade optimism; Tesla drags Nasdaq

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* Trump says trade deal "potentially very close"

* China's Xi says wants to work out an agreement

* Nordstrom jumps on 2019 forecast raise

* Tesla drops after unveiling electric pickup truck

* Indexes: Dow up 0.22%, S&P up 0.05%, Nasdaq off 0.12% (Changes comment, updates to open)

By Arjun Panchadar

Nov 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes eked out gains on Friday after President Donald Trump signalled an imminent trade deal with China, while the Nasdaq was weighed down by a slump in shares of Tesla after the launch of its electric pickup truck.

Trump told Fox News that a trade deal with China was "potentially very close", adding to optimism from remarks by President Xi Jinping that Beijing wanted to work out an initial agreement. Reports earlier in the week had indicated that a truce could be delayed to 2020.

"The positive tone right now is because people have resigned themselves to the fact that they are not going to see a big deal anytime soon, as there are lot of little issues that are going to persist," said Jeanette Garretty, managing director & principal at Robertson Stephens Wealth Management.

Global shares have retreated from near-two year highs scaled in recent weeks on hopes of a resolution to the trade war that has dented business sentiment, curtailed investment and hurt economic growth.

A report on Friday said a hedge fund founded by billionaire Ray Dalio has bet more than $1 billion that stock markets around the world will fall by March.

The benchmark S&P 500 index remained on course to end the week with its first decline in seven, while the Nasdaq is eyeing its first weekly drop in eight. A largely better-than-expected corporate earnings season also contributed to the recent rally.

Latest economic data underscored a resilient domestic economy, with U.S. manufacturing output accelerating in November to its fastest pace in seven months and services activity picking up more than expected.

Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, led by financials.

At 10:44 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 60.07 points, or 0.22%, at 27,826.36, while the S&P 500 was up 1.59 points, or 0.05%, at 3,105.13.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 10.08 points, or 0.12%, at 8,496.13, dragged by a 7% slump in shares of Tesla Inc as its electric pickup truck design received an underwhelming response.

Among other stocks, Nordstrom Inc jumped 8.8% after the retailer raised its 2019 forecast and reported third-quarter profit above expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.46-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 43 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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