Investing.com - The Dow closed higher as Treasury yields stabilized and industrials rallied. A factor in the gains: Traders appeared willing to endure prolonged U.S.-China trade talks if they avert the possibility of further rifts between the two nations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.36%, the S&P 500 added 0.36%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.34%.
U.S. Treasury yields, which has dominated direction in recent sessions, rose from lows despite data showing a slowdown in the U.S. economy.
U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 2.2% annual rate in the October-December period, the Commerce Department said. Economists had expected a 2.4% growth rate.
On the trade front, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the U.S. may remove some of the tariffs on Chinese goods, but not all, easing investor worries that a lack of progress on talks could lead to an all-out trade war.
The apparent olive branch could also mean more drawn-out talks, Kudlow suggested.
"If it takes a few more weeks, or if it takes months, so be it. We have to get a great deal, as the president says, that works for the United States," Kudlow said in a speech in Washington. "That’s our principal interest."
The somewhat upbeat remarks arrived as Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day meeting.
China, meanwhile, has put forward proposals to more closely address a range of issues that have plagued talks, Reuters reported, citing U.S. officials.
The U.S. has demanded that China adopt measures to improve treatment of U.S. intellectual property and open up its markets to U.S. companies.
Most importantly, China also appeared more responsive to an enforcement framework, which the Trump administration has argued is needed to ensure Beijing complies with eventual terms of a trade deal.
That helped trade-sensitive industrials and boosted the broader market.
Among active stocks, Nielsen Holdings (NYSE:NLSN) tumbled 11% on a report that Blackstone (NYSE:BX) is pulling out of a bid for the company.
Consumer discretionaries also proved a bright spot on Wall Street, thanks to better-than-expected results from Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) and Calvin Klein parent PVH (NYSE:PVH).
In other company news, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) moved up more than 2.6% in postmarket trading after the nation's fourth-largest bank (by assets) announced that CEO Tim Sloan will step down effective immediately. He'll be replaced on an interim basis by the bank’s general counsel, C. Allen Parker.
Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:
PVH (NYSE:PVH), Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.
Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN), Lennar (NYSE:LEN) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.