Stocks surged Thursday after positive U.S.-China trade developments pumped optimism back into the markets.
Here were the main market moves, as of market close:
S&P 500 (^GSPC) : +1.30%, or 38.22 points
Dow (^DJI): +1.41%, or 372.68 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +1.75%, or 139.95 points
Crude oil (CL=F): -0.09% to $56.21 per barrel
Gold (GC=F): -2.19% to $1,526.20 per ounce
Global markets rallied on a new announcement by China’s Ministry of Commerce that after weeks of stalled trade negotiations, a high level delegation is planning to meet early next month for another round of in-person trade discussions in Washington. Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on the phone Thursday morning.
The scheduled talks come after both the U.S. and China imposed additional tariffs on September 1. If there is no breakthrough in the trade negotiations, the two feuding nations plan to raise tariffs on December 15.
Meanwhile, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra is headed to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump and White House officials. The meeting comes on the heels of the president’s recent Twitter attacks on the company and its CEO. On Friday, the president tweeted the following:
General Motors, which was once the Giant of Detroit, is now one of the smallest auto manufacturers there. They moved major plants to China, BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE. This was done despite the saving help given them by the USA. Now they should start moving back to America again?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2019
Barra’s meeting with the president is scheduled to take place at 1:45 p.m. ET at the Oval Office. Trump has repeatedly attacked American automakers Ford (F) and GM for not doing more to boost employment domestically. Previously, the president expressed extreme frustration with GM for ending production in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland.
STOCKS: Slack plunges on first earnings report
Online messaging company Slack (WORK) got pummeled on Thursday, following its first-ever quarterly results released after the market close Wednesday. Despite beating expectations on both the top and bottom lines, investors were spooked by Slack’s admission that sales growth would decelerate during the second half of this year.
One of the main concerns surrounding Slack is the competition from companies like Microsoft (MSFT).
“This increased focus from Microsoft and the compelling traction seen in their Teams solution, combined with a deceleration in billings growth over the last couple of quarters vs. FY19, has investors asking the question, ‘Can Slack succeed given this level of competition from Microsoft?’ We believe the answer is still ‘Yes,’” Credit Suisse wrote in a note Thursday.
ECON: U.S. private sector job gains beat expectations
Job growth in the U.S. private sector was better than economists’ expectations in August, according to a new report from ADP Research Institute and Moody’s. The U.S. private sector added 195,000 positions in August, higher than the 148,000 positions Wall Street was predicting.
July’s figure was revised down to 142,000, from the 156,000 positions that was initially reported.
“In August we saw a rebound in private-sector employment,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute said in a statement. “This is the first time in the last 12 months that we have seen balanced job growth across small, medium and large-sized companies.”
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, added, “Businesses are holding firm on their payrolls despite the slowing economy. Hiring has moderated, but layoffs remain low. As long as this continues recession will remain at bay.”
Though the ADP report is not always a reliable indicator of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report will illustrate, it does provide a bit of insight into the health of employment in the U.S.
The BLS will release the August jobs report on Friday. Economists polled by Bloomberg are expecting the U.S. economy to have added 160,000 jobs in August, down from the 164,000 positions added in July.
Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.
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