US, China trade truce pushes stocks to eighth winning session

Stocks on Wall Street rose as trade tensions between the US and China eased.

China’s telecom company ZTE was given a reprieve from potentially crippling US sanctions in exchange for Beijing removing tariffs on billions of dollars of US agricultural products, 

The US and China are locked in high-stakes negotiations over trade, with each threatening to slap tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s products. Signs that the two countries could negotiate a deal have helped the market rebound.

“People are bidding at stocks because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel on tariffs,” says Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group.

“Markets can now focus on real economic activity and stop worrying so much about the overtones of tariffs.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 68.24 points, or 0.3%, to 24,899.41, its eighth consecutive session of gains and the longest streak since September 2017, when it rose for nine straight sessions. The blue-chip index remains down about 6% from its January 26 high.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 2730.13, with six of 11 sectors trading higher. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.1% to 7411.32.

Energy stocks were the biggest gainers in the S&P 500, rising 0.7%, as US crude prices edged up 0.5% to $US71.03 a barrel.

Healthcare stocks added 0.4% after President Donald Trump unveiled a raft of modest measures to curb high drug prices that left the pharmaceutical industry relieved and buoyed their stocks.

Shares of gaming firms climbed following the decision by the US Supreme Court to let states permit sports betting. Caesars Entertainment rose 6.7% and Penn National Gaming climbed 4.3%.

US government bond prices and the US dollar fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising to 2.990% from 2.971% on Friday. 

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell less than 0.1%. France’s CAC 40 eased 0.02%, Germany’s DAX declined 0.2% and the UK’s FTSE 100 also fell 0.2%.

Italy’s FTSE MIB rose against the trend by 0.3% as the formation of a government looked more likely.

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