Trade talk hopes lift stocks

Wall Street

Wall Street

US stocks rose in a broad-based rally on Thursday, helped by robust earnings from Walmart and Cisco and easing trade worries after China and the United States said they would hold talks later this month.

At 9.52am EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 323.31 points, or 1.28 per cent, at 25,485.72, the S&P 500 was up 18.96 points, or 0.67 per cent, at 2,837.33 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 45.31 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 7,819.43.

Easing trade tensions gave relief to tariff-vulnerable industrials, which led the Dow Jones Industrial Average's advance.

Marine transportation, precision instrument, and mining-oriented issues comprised those that gained the most by the close of play.

In the latest wild swing for stocks the Dow surged midday as China and the United States prepare to hold their first trade discussions in months, a potential sign of progress toward ending the trade war between them. The sector was led higher by a 2.3 percent rise in Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) shares.

"It shows that the market is being held back by trade concerns and if those were to be alleviated, the strong economic data and strong corporate profits could lift the US stock market to all-time highs", said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The S&P 500, meanwhile, added 27.44 points, or 0.97% to 2,845.58 on track for its biggest gain since June 1 just a day after its biggest loss in six weeks.

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High-flying technology stocks Microsoft, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook fell between 0.6 percent and 1.2 percent, weighing on the technology sector overall.

Thursday's big gains came as the bull market for the broad US stock index looks set on Wednesday to eclipse the 1990s bull as the longest in history.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.89 percent. They then rebounded Tuesday only to fall again Wednesday on rising concerns about China's economic growth. Second-quarter reporting season is winding down.

Thursday, Wall Street cheered news that China will send a trade envoy to Washington in late August in a new attempt to end the trade dispute.

Meanwhile, Beijing has lodged a complaint to the World Trade Organization to help determine the legality of US tariff and subsidy policies. After those talks, both countries slapped tariffs on billions worth of each other's imports.

"Any hopes of some sort of an agreement would relieve worries of a trade war and the markets would be able to focus on the macro news and earnings".

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