March 2, 2020 / 3:38 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street up in choppy trade, stimulus measures take center stage

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* Indexes up: Dow 0.68%, S&P 0.37%, Nasdaq 0.33%

* Apple biggest boost on Oppenheimer upgrade

* Forty Seven Inc hits record high on $4.9 bln offer

* Banks pressured by drop in Treasury yields (Updates to market open)

By Ambar Warrick and Sanjana Shivdas

March 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were slightly higher in choppy trading on Monday, as investors assessed the efficacy of further monetary stimulus amid the growing economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Wall Street had jumped 1% at the open as traders counted on a reduction in interest rates after data showed the sharpest contraction in Chinese factory activity for February.

But the benchmark S&P 500 pared gains after private and official surveys showed domestic manufacturing activity barely expanded last month.

Wall Street had marked its biggest weekly decline on Friday since the 2008 financial crisis, sinking into correction territory amid rampant fears of a recession resulting from the epidemic.

Investors now expect the Fed to deliver a 50 basis points rate cut when it meets on March 17-18.

"Markets (are) trying to get a sense of where we are in the correction relative to the coronavirus," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

"If we can hold around flat-line to up (today), that's a huge win."

At 10:16 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 173.32 points, or 0.68%, at 25,582.68, and the S&P 500 was up 11.03 points, or 0.37%, at 2,965.25. The Nasdaq Composite was up 28.42 points, or 0.33%, at 8,595.79.

Shares of major banks fell as increased bets on a rate cut prompted a drop in bond yields. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co fell between 0.3% to 0.6%.

Apple Inc rose 3.2%, recovering from a more than two-month low after Oppenheimer & Co upgraded the stock to "outperform".

Cancer drug developer Forty Seven Inc jumped 61.6% after larger peer Gilead Sciences made a $4.9 billion offer for the firm. Gilead rose 1.1%.

China's JD.com Inc rose 7.7% after it forecast at least a 10% rise in revenue for the first quarter, after posting better-than-expected quarterly results.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, while declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.15-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and 17 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 11 new highs and 80 new lows. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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