Wall Street closes higher on fresh hopes for US-China trade deal

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange September 23, 2019. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange September 23, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Oct 11 — US stocks rose yesterday on hopes that top-level US-China trade talks would yield at least a partial deal, while a jump in Apple's shares also boosted the market.

Top US and Chinese negotiators met yesterday for the first time since late July to try to find a way out of a 15-month trade war.

After the bell, the S&P e-minis jumped and were last up about 1 per cent, as US President Donald Trump said the talks with China went “very well today.”

He had tweeted earlier that he would meet with China's top negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He at the White House today.

Chinese officials had indicated more willingness to negotiate, according to a Chinese state news agency Xinhua report, while a senior US Chamber of Commerce official said US and Chinese negotiators were working toward an "early harvest" of confidence-building agreements, including one to avoid currency manipulation.

Cyclical groups including energy, financials, industrials and materials were the day's best-performing sectors, while the Dow Jones transportation average jumped 1.3 per cent.

“There's still some hope that something happens here,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

“But there seems to be an acceptance that this thing may not be finished.”

Apple Inc jumped 1.3 per cent after Longbow Research upgraded the company's stock to “buy,” citing higher iPhone 11 demand.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 150.66 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 26,496.67, the S&P 500 gained 18.73 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 2,938.13 and the Nasdaq Composite added 47.04 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7,950.78.

Stocks have been volatile in recent weeks because of weak economic indicators showing a contraction in US manufacturing and a bleak reading on business activity, bolstering bets of another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve to combat a slowdown.

Data yestrerday showed US consumer prices were unchanged in September, while underlying inflation retreated.

Among other stocks, Delta Air Lines Inc fell 1.5 per cent after the carrier forecast disappointing current-quarter profit.

Focus will shift even further to earnings next week when the reporting period begins in earnest. Analysts are forecasting a 3.1 per cent decline in earnings for the third quarter from a year ago, based on IBES data from Refinitiv, and that could mark a recent low point in year-over-year quarterly changes.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.71-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.27-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted six new 52-week highs and four new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 15 new highs and 128 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.16 billion shares, compared to the roughly seven billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days. — Reuters

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