* Futures up: Dow 0.79 pct, S&P 0.51 pct, Nasdaq 0.68 pct
By Amy Caren Daniel
Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, helped by upbeat earnings, a dip in the dollar and after China said it will hold trade talks with the United States later this month.
Shares of Walmart jumped 9.6 percent in premarket trading after the retailer reported a 40 percent rise in U.S. e-commerce sales during the quarter, faster than the previous quarter’s 33 percent advance.
Cisco surged 6.9 percent after its quarterly results and first-quarter sales forecast topped Wall Street estimates.
Shares of trade-sensitive companies Boeing rose 2.4 percent and Caterpillar gained 1.2 percent on hopes that Beijing and Washington may resolve a conflict that has roiled financial markets since early March.
On Wednesday, trade worries, along with disappointing earnings and a strengthening dollar pushed the S&P 500 to its biggest one-day percentage drop since late June.
At 7:18 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 198 points, or 0.79 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 14.5 points, or 0.51 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 50.25 points, or 0.68 percent.
Symantec jumped 5.9 percent after hedge fund Starboard Value LP nominated five directors to its board after taking a 5.8 percent stake in the cyber-security firm.
JD.com dropped 2.3 percent after China’s second largest e-commerce firm reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ estimates.
The result comes a day after Tencent Holdings reported its first profit decline in over a decade, putting pressure on the U.S. technology sector.
JC Penney was trading flat ahead of its results, which is due before market opens. JC Penney and other retailers, including Walmart, slid on Wednesday after Macy’s warned on its gross margins.
Second-quarter earnings have been stronger than expected, with 79 percent of the 460 S&P 500 that have reported so far beating analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Economic data at 8:30 ET is expected to show housing starts rose 1.26 million units in July, compared with a rise of 1.17 million units in June.
Separately, the U.S. Labor Department is expected to say that initial claims for state unemployment benefits for the week ended Aug. 11 increased 215,000 from 213,000 in the prior week. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)