NEW YORK, March 29 — Wall Street stocks jumped early today on signs of progress in peace talks between Ukraine and Russia as oil prices continued to retreat.

Russia said it would scale down military activity around Kyiv following a “meaningful” dialogue in Istanbul, and Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said there were now “sufficient” conditions for a direct meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The developments boosted hopes of a resolution to the more than month-long attack on Ukraine by Russia, which has prompted international condemnation and sanctions.

Oil prices — which sprinted to multi-year peaks soon after the invasion on worries over lost Russian supply — retreated again.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 35,272.62, up 0.9 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.7 per cent to 4,607.75, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.1 per cent to 14,515.92.

Among individual companies, Fedex rose 4.3 per cent as it announced that founder Frederick Smith would exit as chief executive in June, handing the post to Chief Operating Officer Raj Subramaniam.

Nielsen Holdings surged 21.5 per cent following an announcement that it agreed to be acquired by a consortium of institutional investors led by Evergreen Coast Capital and Brookfield Business Partners for about US$16 billion (RM67 billion). — AFP