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US STOCKS-Wall Street gains on Apple boost, trade optimism

Sept 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Wednesday, boosted by Apple Inc after the launch of its latest iPhones, while investor nerves were also soothed by China's move to ease trade tensions with the United States. The gains took Apple's market valuation above $1 trillion and lifted the wider technology sector by 0.78%, the biggest boost among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors. Adding to the positive momentum, China's finance ministry moved to exempt 16 types of U.S. goods, including lubricants and some animal feed ingredients, from additional retaliatory tariffs, ahead of a planned meeting between trade negotiators. While on the surface, the move is seen as a friendly gesture to thaw relations with the United States, analysts are skeptical about how much it will move the needle in resolving a protracted trade war that has hurt the global economy. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday renewed his attacks on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, saying that the central bank should get interest rates down to "ZERO, or less". While the domestic economy is well insulated from uncertainties like Brexit that are dragging on European markets, U.S. investors will react negatively on Thursday in the event that the ECB puts out a more hawkish policy decision than expected, Orlando said.

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