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Stocks - Dow Delivers Weekly Win as US-China Trade Optimism Lifts Markets

The dow closed sharply higher Friday.

Investing.com - The Dow closed sharply higher on Friday as traders cheered reports that plans were afoot for a meeting between President Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi that could pave the way for an end to the trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 0.43%. The S&P 500 rose 0.33%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose about 0.13%.

Chinese and U.S. negotiators are drawing up plans for talks between President Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in November, according to report from the Wall Street Journal.

The report also said that low-level talks on trade between the countries would be held on August 22 and August 23.

That lifted the major averages as trade-sensitive stocks rallied, offsetting pressures in semiconductor names, led by a slump in Nvidia.

Shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Boeing (NYSE:BA), which all have significant internationally exposure (making them vulnerable to rising trade tensions), rose on the news to end the day higher.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) closed nearly 5% lower as investors fretted the short-term outlook for the chipmaker. It posted third-quarter guidance that fell short of estimates. But analysts continued to sound upbeat on the Nvidia, citing its new Turing GPU would ramp up growth.

"With three solid, structural growth drivers in DC (Data Centre) AI, gaming and autonomous, we see continued outsized growth (for Nvidia)," Oppenheimer said in a note to clients. "We're buyers with a $310 target."

Energy helped the broader market hold onto gains as bullish news on the U.S.-China trade front eased concerns about a further deterioration in China's economy, which many fear would crimp oil demand.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery rose 45 cents settle at $65.91 a barrel.

Still, the rise in oil prices failed to avert U.S. crude futures from posting a third weekly loss in a row.

In other corporate news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock fell 9% amid growing doubts about CEO Elon Musk's plans to take the company private, as the SEC's investigation into those plans, and issues related to disclosures about Model 3 production, intensifies.

On the economic front, data showing consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in 11 months had a muted impact on market direction.

The University of Michigan said its preliminary consumer sentiment index in August fell to 95.3, down from 97.9 in July.

Looking ahead to next week, the healthcare sector is expected to garner investor attention.

"We believe generalist investors are likely to focus on the healthcare sector over the next week given the potential for an announcement from the President on drug pricing," Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Top Dow Gainers and Losers Today:

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) , Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) were among the top Dow gainers for the session.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Nike (NYSE:NKE) and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) were among the worst Dow performers of the session.

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