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Stocks edge higher as China eases trade tensions

Trader Andrew Silverman works on the floor of

Trader Andrew Silverman works on the floor of the NYSE on Aug. 13. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks notched broad gains on Wall Street Wednesday as investors drew encouragement from China's move to exempt some U.S. products from a recent round of tariffs.

Technology, health care and communication services stocks powered much of the rally. The benchmark S&P 500 index, which had been essentially flat since Friday, is on track for its third straight weekly gain.

Bond yields continued to climb. Oil prices fell, and investors also continued to favor smaller-company stocks.

Wednesday's push into technology companies marked a reversal from the first couple of days of the week, when traders bid up energy, financials and other sectors that had sold off in recent weeks. The tech sector is particularly sensitive to fallout from the trade war between Washington and Beijing because many big companies, such as Apple, manufacture products in China.

"Today you have a little bit of a rotation back," said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "You're getting some movement that trade may not be as bad as we think, with China relieving some of the restrictions on its own tariffs."

The S&P 500 rose 0.7 percent, to 3,000.93. It's the first time the index has finished above 3,000 points since July 30.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 227.61 points, or 0.8 percent, to 27,137.04. The Nasdaq   rose 1.1 percent, to 8,169.68.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks outpaced the broader market, climbing 32.72 points, or 2.1%, to 1,575.71.


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