February 15, 2019
By Amy Caren Daniel
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks gained on Friday, led by a bounce in shares of financials, as investors were optimistic about the ongoing trade talks to resolve a bruising tariff dispute between the United States and China.
Talks between the world’s largest economies will continue next week in Washington, with both sides saying this week’s negotiations in Beijing made good progress.
“Trade talks have been completed in Beijing and the good news is that they are planning on having another round of negotiations in Washington next week,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
“The market is predicated on a positive outcome from the trade negotiations.”
Hopes of a trade deal ahead of a March 1 deadline has helped the trade-sensitive industrial sector gain more than 16 percent so far this year, making it the best performing S&P sector.
The sector rose 0.97 percent boosted by bellwethers Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc.
Leading the gains among the 11 major S&P sectors trading higher were financial companies up 1.66 percent, after a more than 1 percent fall in the prior session.
The sector was hit by a fall in U.S. treasury yields on Thursday after bleak retail sales data in December suggested a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018.
Another concern for markets was a threat by President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency in an attempt to fund his U.S.-Mexico border wall without congressional approval.
Still, he agreed to sign the bill that lacked money for his wall, but prevents another damaging government shutdown.
At 9:53 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 275.89 points, or 1.08 percent, at 25,715.28, the S&P 500 was up 22.19 points, or 0.81 percent, at 2,767.92 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 21.83 points, or 0.29 percent, at 7,448.79.
PepsiCo Inc shares rose 2.6 percent after the soda maker forecast an increase in revenue growth. Nvidia Corp rose 2.0 percent and helped push the technology sector 0.29 percent higher, after the chipmaker forecast sales for its current fiscal year above expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.76-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.69-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 38 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 43 new highs and 10 new lows.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)