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US stocks finish higher on advances in US-China trade discussions

Prospects for a deal were buoyed by comments from President Donald Trump
Wall Street sign
CBS rallied after announcing that Susan Zirinsky will replace David Rhodes as president of the news division

US stocks ended higher on Monday as market sentiment was helped by advances in trade negotiations between the US and China.

By the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98 points to hit 23,531, adding to gains on Friday that followed dovish comments from the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Speaking in Atlanta with former Fed chairs Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, Powell suggested the US would take a “flexible” approach to its monetary policy this year.

The markets were also boosted in the trading session by a Reuters report suggesting that Beijing is willing to work with the US to resolve the two countries' trade dispute.

The cheer spread to the tech-laden Nasdaq, which climbed 84.6 points to hit 6,823 while the S&P 500 added nearly 18 points to finish at 2,549.

Energy stocks performed particularly well, with the S&P 500 Energy sector popping by 1.3% thanks to a more than 1% rise in the price of US crude oil.

In Canada, Toronto’s TSX popped by 77 points to reach 14,504 while the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks jumped by almost 25 points to 1,405.

1:05 PM: US stocks rise on guarded optimism over China trade talks

US stocks gained Monday on guarded optimism surrounding US-China trade talks.
 
Prospects for a deal were buoyed by comments from President Donald Trump, who told reporters Sunday that the world's second-largest economy is "not doing well ... I think that gives them a great incentive to negotiate."
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 206.07 points, or 0.9%, to 23,639.23. The Nasdaq Composite increased 1.6% to 6,844.06.
 
Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) was the biggest winner among the blue chips, advancing 2.3% to $177.66.
 
CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS) gained 1.9% to $48.09 after the company announced that CBS News President David Rhodes is stepping down and that Susan Zirinsky, a senior executive producer, will replace him. 
 
Eli Lilly and Co. increased 0.8% to $115.62 after announcing that it had agreed to buy Loxo Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:LOXO) for about $8 billion, or $235 per share, in cash. Lox surged 66% to $231.60.
 
The broader-based S&P 500 was up 1.2% to 2,561.34. The Russell 2000 index of small-caps rose 1.9% to 1,406.72. 
 
In Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite Index edged up 0.3% to 14,470.56.

10:00 AM: Dow slips, stocks trade mixed as all eyes on US-China trade talks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell modestly at the start of trading Monday despite guarded optimism surrounding US-China trade talks.

Prospects for a trade deal between the US and China were buoyed by comments from President Donald Trump, who told reporters Sunday that the world's second-largest economy is "not doing well ... I think that gives them a great incentive to negotiate."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 53.74 points, or 0.23% to 23,379 led lower by Coca-Cola and United Technologies. 

However, the tech-laden Nasdaq climbed 25.25 points or 0.37% to 6,764.11, while the S&P 500 index just about clung to the green at 2,534.32.

Separately, the market reacted positively to news that CBS News President David Rhodes is stepping down and Susan Zirinsky, a senior executive producer, will assume the president's role from March 1. CBS stock climbed nearly 1% to $47.62. Zirinsky will be the first woman to lead the network's news division.

7:20 AM: US stocks set to start the new week mixed as US/China trade talks start again

US stocks are set to start the week mixed, after a higher close Friday, and despite renewed hopes that US, China trade relations could improve.

Officials of the two nations are meeting in Beijing to kick off two days of talks.

On Friday, all eyes had been on the jobs numbers and Wall Street shares raced up after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated that monetary policy would remain flexible in 2019.

The very strong non-farm jobs report eased concern that economic growth was slowing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up a whopping 746 points at 23,433. The Nasdaq gained over 275 and the S&P 500 index surged around 84 at 2,531.

Today in futures trade, the Dow Jones is up 11, the Nasdaq is down 18.5 and the S&P 500 futures are off around two points.

The partial US government shutdown has now entered its third week as talks on budget continue.

 

President Trump wants over $5 billion to fund building his wall between the US and Mexico before agreeing to reopen the government.

 

Democrats have offered about $1.5 billion for border security, but no taxpayer dollars for a wall, which Trump promised Mexico would pay for.

In Europe, benchmarks are lower. The FTSE 100 in London is down nearly 43 points at 6,794 as Brexit fears rear up again as the Prime Minister Theresa May says the vote in parliament on her proposed withdrawal deal will take place on January 15.

The German DAX is off 61 points and the French CAC 40 is down around 24 at 4,712. In Asia overnight, the Nikkei 225 added over 477 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added around 18 at 2,533.

Dean Popplewell, analyst at Forex group Oanda, said on Monday: "In Asia overnight, investors’ appetite for risk was boosted by ‘dovish’ comments from the Fed, positive U.S jobs data and China’s monetary policy easing on Friday.

"However, market enthusiasm has waned a tad in the handover to the European session as U.S stock futures pared some of the overnight gains as dealers await word of progress from trade negotiations that begin today between the U.S and China in Beijing."


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