Wall St rallies as investors eye G20 summit

 Wall St rallies as investors eye G20 summit

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street gained ground in a broad-based rally on Thursday as market participants looked to the G20 summit this weekend for signs of progress in the long-running U.S.-China trade dispute, which has agitated markets for months.

All three major U.S. stock indexes were up, with the benchmark S&P 500 set to snap its four-day losing streak, inching within 1 percent of its all-time high, reached a week ago today.

News that the world's two largest economies have agreed to a tentative truce in their ongoing trade war, according to the China Morning Post, initially fueled investor optimism.

But that optimism was tempered by a story in the Wall Street Journal that Chinese President Xi Jinping will present President Donald Trump with a set of conditions the United States must meet before Beijing will settle the trade dispute.

Expectations were muddied further when White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the United States may move ahead with further tariffs on Chinese goods after the two leaders meet this weekend at the Group of 20 summit in Japan. Trump and Xi are expected to discuss a way forward with respect to tariffs and other issues when they meet.

"There seem to be a lot of cross-currents in language depending on who's talking," said Chuck Carlson, chief executive at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana. "The market seems to be discounting that positive is going to happen" at the G20 summit.

"The market has also been discounting that the Fed is going to cut (interest) rates," Carlson added. "If the trade talks fall apart a part a rate cut is a fait accompli."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 58.95 points, or 0.22%, to 26,595.77, the S&P 500 gained 15.2 points, or 0.52%, to 2,928.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 60.48 points, or 0.76%, to 7,970.46.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but energy stocks were higher.

Chipmakers, whose revenue exposure to China makes them vulnerable to tariffs, were up. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index rose 1.4%.

"Chipmakers are a proxy for trade optimism," Carlson said. "They have become the trade du jour for traders betting for or against a trade deal" between the United States and China.

Ford Motor Co advanced 3.1% after the automaker announced it would cut 12,000 jobs in its troubled Ford Europe segment.

Boeing Co was the heaviest drag on the Dow, dropping 1.9% following a Reuters report on Wednesday that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration identified a new safety risk in the planemaker's grounded 737 MAX aircraft.

Conagra Brands reported quarterly earnings that missed analyst estimates because of waning demand and manufacturing challenges. Its shares dropped 10.5%.

Higher drug prices and an increase in prescription volume helped Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc beat quarterly earnings expectations, sending its stock up 5.1%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.43-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.81-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted six new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 27 new highs and 46 new lows.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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Updated Date: Jun 28, 2019 01:05:45 IST