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Stocks - Dow Wraps up Eighth Weekly Gain on US-China Trade Hopes

Investing.com - The Dow wrapped up the week in strong form Friday, notching an eighth-straight week of gains as optimism that the U.S. and China were closing in on a trade deal triggered a sea of green across Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.74%, the S&P 500 added 1.09%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.61%.

The Dow finished up 3.1% for the week, with the S&P 500 up 2.5% and the Nasdaq 2.4% higher. The Dow's close was its best since early November. The S&P and Nasdaq finished at their highest levels since Dec. 3.

With just weeks to go until the March 1 deadline, President Donald Trump offered an optimistic update on the second round of U.S.-China trade talks, prompting traders to turn bullish on stocks.

Trump said that trade talks "are going extremely well," stressing that the United States is closer than ever to "having a real trade deal" with China.

Without a trade deal secured by March 1, the U.S. could implement further tariffs on China. Trump said, however, that he would be "honored" to remove tariffs if an agreement can be reached.

The newfound optimism on trade pushed energy stocks sharply higher, as traders had long feared a prolonged trade war would hurt economic growth in China, the world's largest oil consumer, denting oil demand.

Trade has been not only weighed on market sentiment but also on corporate earnings.

Tractor supplier Deere (NYSE:DE) posted a rare earnings miss, blaming higher raw material costs and concerns over tariffs and trade policies. Its shares fell 2%.

Financials, mostly bank stocks, also led the market higher thanks to solid gains from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C).

Newell Brands (NASDAQ:NWL) plunged 18% after reporting fourth-quarter revenue that fell below estimates from Investing.com. The company also singled out trade tensions as factor that hurt results.

In tech, a surge in semis was led by Nvidia following the chipmakers' quarterly results and guidance from a day earlier.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) closed 2% higher at $157.34, but well below session highs of $163.87 as Wall Street doubted the company's guidance for a large jump in fourth-quarter revenue amid an uncertain backdrop for many of its businesses. It makes graphics chips that are often used in computers aimed at gamers.

Morgan Stanley said Nvidia is facing several challenges across different parts of the business at the same time, which "create quite a bit of idiosyncratic risk, and many variables that are 'unknowable'."

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) and American International (NYSE:AIG) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Newell Brands (NASDAQ:NWL) , Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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