Wall Street rises on trade talk optimism

FAN Editor
Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

August 20, 2018

By April Joyner

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow Industrials rose on Monday on optimism over trade talks between the United States and China, while the Nasdaq edged upward as technology stocks pared losses.

The planned talks between the United States and China later this week provided a boost to the trade-sensitive industrial sector <.SPLRCI>, which rose 0.7 percent. Industrials added the most gains to the S&P 500 among the index’s major sectors.

Easing concerns over a potential trade war also helped lift prices of oil and metal. The S&P 500 energy sector <.SPNY> rose 0.8 percent, and the materials sector <.SPLRCM> was up 0.7 percent. [O/R] [MET/L]

“It doesn’t necessarily guarantee that there will be an immediate resolution,” said Adam Phillips, director of portfolio strategy at EP Wealth Advisors in Torrance, California, of the trade talks. “But it’s certainly a positive development, and it’s certainly something investors are focusing on.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 100.59 points, or 0.39 percent, to 25,769.91, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 7.52 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,857.65 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 6.95 points, or 0.09 percent, to 7,823.28.

The Nasdaq moved into positive territory as technology stocks pared losses. The S&P 500 technology index <.SPLRCT> was last down 0.1 percent after having dipped as much as 0.63 percent earlier in the session.

This week, investors are turning their attention to central bank policies as the earnings season winds down.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s August policy meeting will be released on Wednesday. The minutes are expected to indicate the Fed’s confidence in U.S. economic growth and commitment to further interest rate increases.

Later this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other central bankers will meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. On their agenda is a discussion of the root causes of stubbornly low inflation, slow wage growth and weak productivity gains in the U.S. economy.

Shares of Nike Inc <NKE.N> hit a record high of $82.42 after Piper Jaffray and Susquehanna raised their ratings on the stock. Nike shares were last up 2.8 percent at $82.00.

Intel Corp <INTC.O> shares dropped 1.2 percent after brokerage Cowen & Co said the chipmaker’s disclosure of new security bugs in some of its microprocessors may push cloud companies to seek other suppliers.

Estee Lauder <EL.N> rose 2.7 percent after topping quarterly profit and sales estimates as customers bought more of its high-margin Clinique and La Mer skin care products.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.48-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.62-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 49 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 61 new lows.

(Reporting by April Joyner; additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Jonathan Oatis)

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