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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks rose early Tuesday on easing China Covid-19 restrictions, as large banks rallied after several announced higher shareholder distributions.

China reduced the length of mandatory quarantine for inbound travelers, in the biggest relaxation of entry restrictions after sticking to a rigid zero-Covid policy throughout the pandemic.

The news comes as equity markets hope for a better second half of 2022 after a first six months battered by worries over inflation and monetary policy.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.2 percent at 31,804.38.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained one percent to 3,938.97, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.7 percent to 11,605.07.

Wall St Week Ahead: Bruised US stock investors brace for more pain in second half of 2022

Large banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo rose at least two percent after adopting different stances on shareholder distributions upon passing Federal Reserve stress tests.

Wells Fargo boosted its dividend and pointed to “significant” capacity for share repurchases, while JPMorgan maintained its dividend, saying, “We will retain capital to fully satisfy our future regulatory requirements.”

Among individual companies, Nike dipped one percent as it projected tepid sales growth in the coming period after reporting quarterly results that topped expectations.

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