Wall Street rallies on U.S.-China trade optimism

By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street rallied on Friday on growing hopes the United States and China can hammer out an agreement resolving their protracted trade war. All three major U.S. indexes were higher, with the Dow and the Nasdaq on course to recording their eighth consecutive weekly gains

Reuters February 16, 2019 02:05:21 IST
Wall Street rallies on U.S.-China trade optimism

Wall Street rallies on USChina trade optimism

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street rallied on Friday on growing hopes the United States and China can hammer out an agreement resolving their protracted trade war.

All three major U.S. indexes were higher, with the Dow and the Nasdaq on course to recording their eighth consecutive weekly gains. For the fourth straight session, the S&P 500 held above its 200-day moving average, a key technical level.

Talks between the United States and China will resume in Washington next week, with both sides saying progress has been made toward resolving the two countries' contentious trade dispute.

Tariff-sensitive industrials provided the biggest lift to the blue-chip Dow, led by bellwethers Boeing Co, United Technologies Inc, Caterpillar Inc and 3M Co.

Investors were also heartened by news President Donald Trump was expected to sign a bipartisan spending bill to prevent another partial government shutdown, while appearing to shrug off Trump's announcement he would declare a national emergency in order to fund his promised border wall.

"It's a relief rally, now that Trump is going to sign the (spending) bill and (the) China trade (dispute) looks like its coming to a resolution," Said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management in New York. "It's going to be a long process but it's looking positive."

The trade spat's effects were reflected in Deere & Co's earnings report, which came in below analyst estimates in part because of slowing international trade. The agricultural equipment manufacturer's shares were down 2.8 percent.

With nearly 80 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported, fourth-quarter earnings season is largely in the rearview mirror. Analysts now see a profit increase of 16.2 percent for the quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

Going forward, the outlook continues to worsen. First quarter earnings are currently seen falling by 0.5 percent, the first year-on-year decline since mid-2016.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 358.95 points, or 1.41 percent, to 25,798.34, the S&P 500 gained 22.65 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,768.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.57 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,456.53.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but utilities were in positive territory.

The financial sector led the S&P 500's advance, bouncing back from Thursday's sell-off as U.S. Treasury yields crept back up.

Shares of PepsiCo were up 2.9 percent even after the snack and beverage company forecast a surprise drop in full-year profit.

Amazon.com shares were down 0.7 percent after scrapping its plans for a New York headquarters.

Nvidia Corp rose 2.0 percent after the company's forecasts for its current fiscal year topped Wall Street expectations.

The chipmaker gave the largest boost to the closely-watched Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index, which was up 0.4 percent. So far this year, the index has enjoyed more than a 17 percent jump.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.41-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.92-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 41 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 79 new highs and 15 new lows.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Tom Brown)

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

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