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Stocks - Wall Street Gains on Reports of Trade Progress

Investing.com – Wall Street surged on Wednesday as investors snapped back from a trade-driven sell-off on reports that the U.S. and China are still closing in on a 'phase-one' deal, despite all appearances to the contrary.

Bloomberg reported that U.S. officials still expect a phase one deal with China before the next scheduled U.S. tariff increase on Chinese imports on Dec. 15.

China's Foreign Ministry reiterated Beijing’s insistence on "equality" in any phase-1 deal. The news came just one day after President Donald Trump said that there was no deadline for a trade deal for China and that it may be after next year’s election.

"China and the United States are playing a game of poker," said Mark Grant, chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR Inc.

"They make these comments on hopes of moving the other side and it's difficult to figure out what the reality is, but these certainly move the market if they look more promising or less promising every day."

The Dow rallied 183 points or 0.7% by 9:46 AM ET (13:46 GMT), while the S&P 500 gained 15 points or 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite was up 42 points or 0.5%.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) rose 1.7% after the market open on news that co-founder Larry Page is stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by the CEO of its Google unit, Sundar Pichai.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) gained 1% after it said tests showed its baby power does not have any asbestos in it, while Boeing (NYSE:BA) gained 0.7% on trade news, but was held back by reports that United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) is buying jets from rival Airbus (OTC:EADSY), while European budget airline Ryanair (OTC:RYAOF) said it didn't expect the full delivery of its order of 737 MAX planes until the second half of next year.

Elsewhere, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell 0.7% as CEO Elon Musk prepared to defend a defamation lawsuit over a series of tweets last year, in which he called a British diver a “pedo guy.”

In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.2% to 97.455 and gold futures slipped 0.3% to $1,480.85 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures surged 3.3% to $57.93 a barrel.

-Reuters contributed to this report

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