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Stocks - Dow Racks up Triple-Digit Gains as Trade Hopes Trigger Rally

Investing.com – The Dow rallied Wednesday on growing hopes the U.S. and China will reach an agreement after President Donald Trump said trade talks were going "very well."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.46%, or 117 points. The S&P 500 added 0.30% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.08%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were each higher for a third straight day; the Dow's gain was its second in a row. The indexes are higher by about 1.7% so far this week.

Trump said the high-level parley on trade between U.S. and China was progressing "well," easing investor worries that the two nations would be unable to reach a trade agreement by end of the current trade war truce on March 1.

The president's somewhat reassuring remarks on trade come a day after he told reporters he was open to extending the deadline beyond March 1 if there is sufficient progress on the talks.

The upbeat hopes of a trade deal and strong gains in General Electric (NYSE:GE) supported the trade-sensitive industrials sector.

GE rose 3.91% a day after Reuters reported the conglomerate had secured the most orders for electricity-generating gas turbines in 2018. But Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems beat General Electric to the top spot for orders of the largest and most advanced turbines.

Beyond trade, rising energy stocks powered the broader market higher. The gains reflected rising oil prices as Saudi Arabia's pledge to continue cutting output offset data showing a larger-than-expected build in domestic crude stockpiles.

Tech stocks struggled to get in on the rally, weighed down by weakness in FANG stocks.

Apple reportedly is nearing the launch of a new streaming service that will feature free original content for device owners, but may not include Netflix, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 0.42%, and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) dropped 2.3%.

The CNBC report comes as Goldman Sachs said it expects the iPhone maker to launch a streaming service this spring or summer to plug the gap from a decline in service revenue on expectations of a material drop in traffic acquisition costs.

Traffic acquisition costs, the fee Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) pays companies for diverting traffic to its website, are expected to drop significantly this year, according to the bank.

"We forecast that traffic acquisition costs growth drops materially to about 29% in 2019 from 46% in 2018," Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) said.

On the economic front, mixed U.S. inflation data also supported the broader market amid expectations subdued price pressures would strengthen the Federal Reserve's case to hold off monetary policy tightening.

The Labor Department said on Thursday its consumer price index was flat January, after edging up 0.1% in the prior month. But core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 2.2% for the year through January, above forecasts for a 2.1% increase.

In Washington, Trump told reporters he would "take a very serious look" at the border security deal and reiterated he does not want the see a second government shutdown.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Hilton Worldwide Holdings (NYSE:HLT) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH), TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) and Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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