June 19, 2020 / 12:41 PM / in 22 days

US STOCKS-Wall Street set to rise at open on recovery optimism

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* S&P 500, Dow set for fourth weekly rise in five

* AMC jumps on further reopening plans

* Energy stocks jump on signs of improving oil demand

* Futures up: Dow 1.36%, S&P 1.23%, Nasdaq 1.06% (Adds comment, details; Updates prices)

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

June 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday with the tech-heavy Nasdaq inching closer to a fresh record high on hopes of a bounce back in post-pandemic economic activity, as investors shrugged off rising new COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states.

Energy companies Occidental Petroleum Corp and Devon Energy Corp jumped 6.3% and 4.2% each in premarket trading as Brent crude rose above $42 a barrel amid signs of gradual recovery in demand and a promise by oil producers to meet supply cuts.

California, Florida and North Carolina urged mandatory mask use on Thursday as at least six states set daily records for new coronavirus cases. Mainland China also reported 32 new cases of infections, an uptick from a day earlier.

Risk of a resurgence of the virus outbreak prompting another round of restrictive measures has led to choppy trading sessions this week. However, the S&P 500 and the Dow are headed for their fourth weekly rise in five following a strong retail sales report and signs of additional official stimulus.

“We expect the overshoot in equities to continue, driven by the very aggressive monetary policy easing, fiscal expansions and the continued reopening of the global economy with some temporary setbacks,” said Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management.

The S&P 500 ended marginally higher on Thursday with the Nasdaq notching its sixteenth rise in the past 19 sessions.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow are about 8% and 12% below their respective record closing highs hit in February, while the Nasdaq is about 0.5% below its all-time closing high on June 10.

Markets are likely to become more volatile during Friday’s session on account of “quadruple witching,” as investors unwind interests in futures and options contracts prior to expiration.

“Today’s trading activity could be very telling,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York. “If we end the day weak or having given up much of the gains, that’s an implication that investors are not confident enough to hold a long position over the weekend.”

At 8:13 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 354 points, or 1.36%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 38.25 points, or 1.23% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 105.5 points, or 1.06%.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc jumped 9.1% on plans to reopen theaters at about 450 locations in the United States next month and the company expects returning to full-seating capacity around Thanksgiving.

Later in the day, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will participate in a video conference where he will talk about ways regions and cities across the country can help their workforces better withstand and recover from shocks related to the pandemic. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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