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* Trump says U.S. doing well in trade talks with China
* Dollar General gains after Q1 profit beat
* Citigroup gains after Goldman upgrades to ‘buy’
* Futures up: Dow 0.24%, S&P 0.38%, Nasdaq 0.43%
By Amy Caren Daniel
May 30 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open slightly higher on Thursday, taking a breather from a trade tension-driven selloff that has knocked more than 5% off the value of major stock indexes since the start of May.
U.S. stocks fell more than 1% during the session on Wednesday after Chinese state media implied Beijing could restrict rare earth sales to the United States, triggering fears of a drawn-out dispute that could weigh on global growth.
“People are trying to figure out how much of the bad news is already priced in. The trade war looks like it might dampen growth but not enough to throw us into a recession,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“There has been talk about the Fed possibly cutting rates and that is a little bit positive for the stock market.”
Despite a tick up on Thursday, U.S. treasury yields were still at 20-month lows as investors sought safety in government bonds.
The yield curve between three-month bills and 10-year notes also remained inverted and money markets were now pricing in roughly two U.S. rate cuts by the start of next year.
Offering a glimmer of hope, President Donald Trump said the United States was doing well in trade talks with China and that Beijing wanted to make a deal with Washington.
Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet in late-June at the G20 summit in Japan.
Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp Intel Corp and Nvidia Corp were among the gainers in premarket trading.
The ramp up in trade tensions have hit technology and energy stocks the hardest among the 11 major S&P sectors so far this month.
The major indexes have suffered their fourth decline in five sessions. The benchmark S&P 500 index is down 5.5% from its April 30 closing high.
At 8:32 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 61 points, or 0.24%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.38% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 30.75 points, or 0.43%.
Citigroup Inc rose 1.3% after Goldman Sachs raised the bank’s shares to “buy”, as it expects the lender to achieve a higher return on equity in 2020.
Comcast Corp gained 1.3% after Guggenheim upgraded the cable services provider’s stock to “buy”, saying the company was well positioned in a rapidly changing landscape.
Discount retailer Dollar General Corp jumped 5.1% after the company reported quarterly same-store sales and profit above expectations. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)