Financial Markets

Stocks Move Higher on Trade Talk Optimism

By DAMIAN J. TROISE AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks moved broadly higher as investors turned hopeful that the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks getting underway Thursday in Washington would produce progress on ending the long-running dispute.

The markets were encouraged after President Donald Trump said he would meet with the head of China’s negotiating team at the White House on Friday. He also said China wants to make a deal.

Envoys from each nation start their 13th round of trade negotiations Thursday since the feud started 15 months ago. Markets have been jittery all week as investors continue to assess the potential for a deal amid the latest escalation from the U.S. and China’s recent rifts with the NBA and U.S. companies over free-speech issues.

Apple and Microsoft led the technology sector higher. The sector is particularly sensitive to any news coming out of trade negotiations because many of the companies rely on China for sales growth and supply chains.

Bank of America led bank stocks higher with a gain of 2.6%. The sector benefited from rising bond yields, which allow banks to charge higher interest rates on loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.65% from 1.58% late Wednesday.

Energy companies benefited from a rise in crude oil prices. Safe-lay sectors like utilities and real estate lagged the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 0.9% as of 11:25 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 233 points, or 0.9%, to 26,578. The Nasdaq rose 0.9%.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe edged lower. Britain said that economic growth held up in the three months through August and it will avoid running into a recession in the run-up to its exit from the European Union. Economic growth remains a concern and top European Central Bank officials are united over the need for more economic stimulus, according to the written account of their last meeting.

Asian markets were mixed as the U.S. and China head into a new round of trade negotiations.

COMEBACK? The week has been split between up and down days for the broader market as trade war volatility impacts stocks. Thursday’s gains are helping the S&P 500 cut its losses for the week. The index is now down just 0.2% for the week. On Wednesday it was on track for 1.1% weekly loss.

The gains on Thursday pushed the Dow and Nasdaq back to about even for the week.

FRESH SHEETS: Bed Bath & Beyond surged 23% after the struggling home goods chain named Target’s former chief merchandising officer to be its new CEO and president. Mark Tritton, a 30-year-retail industry veteran, will assume the top role on Nov. 4 and succeed interim CEO Mary A. Winston.

GROUNDED: Delta Air Lines fell 3.6% after the company gave investors a weak profit forecast for the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter is among the busiest for U.S. airlines because of holiday travelers.

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