Investing.com – Stocks climbed for a second day in a row Thursday as hopes built for some sort of trade deal between with the United States and China.
The S&P 500 climbed 0.64%, and the Dow Jones industrials climbed 0.57%. The Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indices rose 0.60% and 0.65%, respectively.
The trade optimism was set off, in part, by President Donald Trump who tweeted that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, chief of the Chinese negotiating team, would visit the White House on Friday.
Overnight, fears the Chinese delegation would leave Washington Thursday, after just a day of talks, had sent futures markets plunging. Markets have tended in recent months to move violently on any trade news. Thursday's move looked like computer algorithms reacting to the Trump tweet.
If there was a downside to the rally, it was the lack of news during the trading day. The negotiators met (they reportedly called in for takeout at lunch from Clyde's in Washington) but there was no real news.
As a result, the Dow, which had been up as many 257 points in the late morning, lost 40% of the gain, finishing up 151 points. That's good, but not boffo.
The major indexes have been slapped around by trade battles with little change since hitting new highs in July. The S&P 500's close was its 15th straight below 3,000, and the index is 2.97% below its July peak. The Dow is off 3.29%, and the Nasdaq off 4.66%.
The rally was broad and 10 of 11 S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by financial stocks, including American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Energy shares also moved up.
Only utilities were lower because interest rates moved higher. The 10-Year Treasury yield finished at 1.661%, up from Wednesday's 1.587%. (The yield hit a low of 1.429% on Sept. 3 as investors started to worry a recession might be coming.)
Twenty-three Dow stocks were higher, led by construction-equipment giant Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), chemical maker Dow Inc. (NYSE:DOW) and pharmacy company Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA). Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) were the biggest decliners.
A total of 88 Nasdaq 100 stocks were higher,
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) hit a 52-week high of $230.43 and finished at $230.09, its first close above $230 since Oct. 3, 2018.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT), paint maker Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) and Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY) were among stocks hitting new highs. CBS (NYSE:CBS), Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) all reached new lows.
Chip company Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS), streaming company Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), copper-and-gold producer Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) and chipmaker Qorvo (NASDAQ:QRVO) were among the top S&P 500 performers.
Computer-storage company NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP), supermarket operator Kroger (NYSE:KR), Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) and chemical giant DuPont (NYSE:DD)
Crude oil moved higher on OPEC's announcement it wants to cut production. Gold futures dropped $11.90 to $1,500.90 an ounce in New York as the China news encouraged taking on more investment risk.