Markets ended the session mostly higher on Thursday as trade talks between the United States and China likely entered its final round. Investors were buoyed by the prospect of a near-term trade deal. Further, number of jobless people filing for claims fell to its lowest levels since 1969. The Dow and the S&P 500 closed in the green, while the Nasdaq emerged as the only major benchmark to end in the negative territory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) increased 0.6%, to close at 26,384.63. The S&P 500 increased 0.2% to close at 2,879.39. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,891.78, losing 0.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 2.3% to close at 13.42. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.52-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.29-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow amassed 166.5 points to close in the green. Gains for the 30-stock index were propelled by a 2.9% rally in shares of Boeing BA. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The S&P 500 rose 6 points to also end in the green. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, seven ended in positive territory, with materials and energy shares leading the advancers. The Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLB) and Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) increased 1% and 0.8%, respectively on Wednesday.
The broader index closed in the positive territory for the sixth straight session. The last time the S&P 500 had ended in the green for six straight session was back in February 2018. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq decreased 3.8 points to close in negative territory.
Optimism Around U.S. – China Trade Talks Boost Markets
Per a Wall Street Journal report, President Donald Trump was expected to announce an upcoming summit with China’s president Xi Jinping. On Thursday, Trump met Chinese vice premier Liu He at his Oval Office in the White House.
Further, in a tweet on the morning of Apr 4, Trump stated that trade talks with China were “moving along nicely.” However, Trump also stated the United States and China were “weeks away” from signing a deal. Some of the major differences like enforcement mechanisms remained sticking points. However, positive developments on the trade war front boosted gains for the broader markets.
On the economic data front, number of jobless claims filed by citizens dropped to near 50-year low last week. Initial claims came in at 202,000 — a decline of 10,000 from the week prior to the last. The consensus estimate for the period was 217,000.
Stocks That Made Headlines
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