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U.S.-China trade deal hopes lift Wall Street

Kitco News

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks gained on Thursday on hopes that top-level U.S.-China trade talks would yield at least a partial deal, while a rise in Apple’s shares lifted the technology sector.

Wall Street’s main indexes moved higher after President Donald Trump tweeted he would meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday for further trade talks.

“The tweet ... is giving market participants a reason to believe that perhaps a trade deal or at least a partial trade deal might be announced as early as tomorrow,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

Separately, Liu said Beijing was willing to reach an agreement with Washington to prevent any further escalation in the trade war, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

The latest comments fueled optimism that had been dulled earlier after China urged the United States to stop unreasonable pressure on Chinese companies, while the South China Morning Post reported that two sides made no progress in deputy-level trade talks earlier in the week.

But Bloomberg said late on Wednesday that the United States was weighing a currency pact with China as part of a partial deal.

“Some sort of agreement towards currency is fine but it would not get us anywhere near from where we started this issue,” Pavlik said.

Equity markets have also been rankled by weak economic indicators showing a sharp contraction in U.S. manufacturing and a bleak reading on business activity, bolstering bets of another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve to combat a slowdown.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose 1.2%, lifting the technology sector .SPLCRT by 0.7%, after Longbow Research upgraded the company’s stock to “buy”, citing higher iPhone 11 demand.

Apple suppliers Skyworks Solutions Inc (SWKS.O) and Qorvo Inc (QRVO.O) gained 6% and 5%, respectively, after Cowen and Co upgraded its rating on both the companies, expecting them to benefit from higher iPhone demand.

At 10:38 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 160.81 points, or 0.61%, at 26,506.82, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 18.27 points, or 0.63%, at 2,937.67 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 50.16 points, or 0.63%, at 7,953.90.

If Thursday’s gains hold, the three main indexes will log their second straight day of gains this week.

Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) dropped 1.8%, after a report that Goldman Sachs downgraded the network gear maker’s shares to “neutral”.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.93-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.69-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded eight new highs and 58 new lows.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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