TODAY'S PAPER
34° Good Afternoon
34° Good Afternoon
Business

Stocks higher, boosted by trade talks

Trader Robert Charmak, center, works on the floor

Trader Robert Charmak, center, works on the floor of the NYSE on Tuesday. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 400 points Friday as renewed optimism over trade talks between the United States and China put investors in a buying mood.

The rally marked a turnaround from a day earlier, when disappointing holiday sales data led to a modest sell-off. Friday's gains helped push the benchmark S&P 500 index to its third-consecutive weekly gain.

Financial, health care, technology and industrial stocks accounted for much of the broad wave of buying. U.S. markets will be closed Monday in observance of Presidents Day.

Two days of trade talks wrapped up Friday in Beijing. China's government said negotiators will meet in Washington next week for more negotiations aimed at ending the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

A March 2 deadline hangs over both sides, after which the United States is set to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods, escalating a trade dispute that has already raised costs for companies and consumers. President Donald Trump has said there is a possibility he would extend that deadline if the two countries are close to a deal, however.

Wall Street has been encouraged by the signals that Chinese and U.S. officials have sent in the latest round of trade talks that began Monday.

That's given investors "hopefulness and maybe optimism surrounding some sort of resolution between the U.S. and China," said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. "And maybe [both sides] keep talking and maybe delaying the implementation of the tariffs that are supposed to come into effect" on March 2, Delwiche said, "so it's evidence of progress."

The S&P 500 index  rose 1.1 percent to 2,775.60. The Dow climbed 443.86 points, or 1.7 percent, to 25,883.25.

The Nasdaq composite rose 0.6 percent to 7,472.41. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 1.6 percent, to finish at 1,569.25. Major European indexes also finished higher, as did gold and crude oil prices.

Markets moved higher for most of this week as investors grew more optimistic that the latest round of talks could move the U.S. and China closer to a resolution of their trade fight. -- AP

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news