May 14, 2018 / 3:52 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St climbs on easing U.S.-China trade tensions

* NXP jumps on China’s Qualcomm deal review; boosts chipmakers

* Optical components makers rise after Trump’s ZTE comment

* Xerox tumbles after scrapping $6.1 bln deal with Fujifilm

* Viacom shares tumble after CBS lawsuit against merger

* Indexes up: Dow 0.57 pct, S&P 0.37 pct, Nasdaq 0.55 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks notched up gains on Monday on signs of easing trade tensions between the United States and China after President Donald Trump softened his stance on Chinese technology company ZTE Corp.

Trump on Sunday pledged to help ZTE “get back into business, fast” nearly a month after the U.S. Commerce Department banned American companies from selling to the firm for violating an agreement.

Trump’s comments came ahead of trade talks between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. officials this week.

“There has been calmer trade headlines, we haven’t seen the rhetoric pick up,” said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

Shares of some of the biggest suppliers to ZTE, including Acacia Communications, Oclaro and Lumentum Holdings rose between 11.1 percent and 4.1 percent.

Chip stocks got a boost from news that China had resumed its review of chipmaker Qualcomm’s proposed $44 billion takeover of NXP Semiconductors. NXP surged 9.9 percent and Qualcomm 2.8 percent.

The Philadelphia semiconductor index was up 1.6 percent.

At 11:25 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 142.51 points, or 0.57 percent, at 24,973.68. The blue-chip index was on track to post its eighth straight day of gains, with United Health’s 1.6 percent rise providing the biggest boost.

The S&P 500 was up 10.11 points, or 0.37 percent, at 2,737.83 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 40.76 points, or 0.55 percent, at 7,443.64.

The S&P 500 and the Dow rose above their 100-day moving averages, a key technical level, for the first time in nearly a month last week on easing worries of inflation and a surge in oil prices.

“Soothing economic reports, robust earnings and calmer trade headlines have allowed stocks to gain the footing here so far.” Augustine said.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with technology, healthcare and energy sectors leading the gains.

The biggest decliner was Xerox, which tumbled 8.4 percent after the U.S. photocopier maker scrapped a planned $6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm Holdings.

Viacom Inc declined 5.8 percent after CBS Corp filed a lawsuit to stop controlling shareholder Shari Redstone from continuing with her plan to merge it with Viacom. CBS rose 4.9 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.39-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 22 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 100 new highs and 24 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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