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Stocks jump as investors await outcome of trade talks

Heidi Chung

Stocks found their footing after a wobbly morning of trading as U.S. and Chinese government officials meet in Beijing for the second day of trade negotiations.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed 0.97%, or 24.72 points, higher as of market close. The Communication sector outperformed, outweighing weakness in the Financials sector. The Dow (^DJI) jumped 1.09%, or 256.10 points, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 1.08%, or 73.53 points.

Crude oil (CL=F) settled at 49.63 per barrel – hitting its highest level in three weeks. The commodity got a boost as OPEC’s production cuts are set to take effect this month.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

STOCKS: Samsung echoes Apple’s profit concerns, Larry Ellison discloses Tesla stake

Samsung (005930.KS) shares tumbled after the South Korean tech company issued a warning that operating profit will fall 29% in Q4. Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone and semiconductor company and is often looked to as a bellwether for the global tech industry. The company cited issues such as macro uncertainties, slowing demand and intensifying competition for the surprise guidance that was much weaker than analysts’ expectations. This comes just a week after Apple (AAPL) also shocked investors by lowering its Q4 revenue guidance.

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) soared after it was revealed in a filing with the SEC that newly-appointed board member Larry Ellison is the second-largest individual shareholder of the company. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the largest Tesla shareholder and owns about 20% of the company. Ellison holds about $1 billion in Tesla shares.

NEWS: President Trump to address the nation

At 9 p.m. ET, President Trump is set to address the nation on the current state of the partial federal shutdown. The president announced his intention in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that he will give a prime-time national address from the Oval Office.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled to Beijing on Monday and will stay by President Xi Jinping’s invitation until Thursday, according to North Korean and Chinese reports. Denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled recently, and many expect that the two Asian leaders will be discussing economic matters and denuclearization.

ECON: Small business optimism edged lower in December

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index remained little changed in December, falling to 104.4 from 104.8 in November. Economists polled by Bloomberg were expecting a reading of 103.0 for the month. Job opening were at record highs, and reports of higher wage compensation also remained near record levels, according to the report.

The Labor Department will be releasing the government’s count of job openings for November that were lower-than-expected at 6.89 million versus consensus estimates of 7.05 million. October’s number was revised up to 7.13 million from the previously reported 7.08 million. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data for October was the second-highest level of total available jobs ever – only eclipsed by August’s data.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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