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Stocks - Wall Street Gains on Trade Optimism; Boeing Drags on Dow

Investing.com – Wall Street opened higher on Monday, as upbeat rhetoric around trade continued to support sentiment in the absence of much hard news.

White House adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox Business that tariffs scheduled for December could be withdrawn if trade negotiations go well. His comments follow positive trade chatter over the weekend, with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He saying on Saturday that "substantial progress" had been made in talks and argued that ending the trade war will benefit both the U.S., China and the world.

Meanwhile U.S. President Donald Trump said he hoped the deal would be signed by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in mid-November, and that he was confident it would stop the introduction of more tariffs.

The two countries initially shook hands on a temporary truce 10 days ago, as they work towards a more comprehensive deal.

The Dow was up 45 points or 0.2% by 9:46 AM ET (13:46 GMT), while the S&P 500 gained 13 points or 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite jumped 49 points or 0.6%.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) dragged on the Dow, as the company fell 5% after Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) and UBS downgraded the company to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’, following reports that Boeing pilots were aware of safety issues with the 737 MAX's flight control software as long ago as 2016.

Drug companies Teva Pharma Industries, McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) , AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC), and Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) were mostly in the red after they reached a settlement deal with two Ohio counties over their alleged role in the opioid crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported. Teva was up 2.3% while the other companies slumped nearly 4%.

Elsewhere, Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) jumped 6.6% despite posting a decline in North American shale drilling. Coty (NYSE:COTY) jumped 12.4% on news that it is planning to sell its professional beauty business that houses brands such as Wella and OPI.

In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 96.998 and gold futures lost 0.1% to $1,493.25 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures declined 1.3% to $53.14 a barrel.

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