Stocks Jump As U.S. And China Announce Progress In Trade Talks

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NEW YORK — Stocks are solidly higher Monday after the U.S. and China appeared to make major progress in trade talks. The Chinese government says it will buy more goods and services and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. postponed tariffs on up to $150 billion in goods from China after the two sides made “meaningful progress” toward a new trade agreement. Industrial companies and banks are making some of the biggest gains.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index climbed 14 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,727 as of 11:35 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 263 points, or 1.1 percent, to 24,978. It climbed 371 points earlier. The Nasdaq composite gained 16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,371. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks jumped 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,633.

TRADE TALKS: The U.S. and China concluded two days of trade negotiations with an agreement not to impose tariffs on each other, while Beijing said it will buy more farm goods, energy and other products and services from U.S. companies. The two sides gave no indication of how much progress they had made toward ending their dispute entirely, as China said it can’t guarantee that trade tensions will be permanently avoided and Mnuchin said President Donald Trump could reintroduce the tariffs he’s proposed if the countries don’t reach an agreement.

Evercore ISI analyst Terry Haines wrote in a note to clients that the most important thing is that the two sides will keep talking, and that as long as they are doing that, they probably won’t introduce any tariffs.

“Taken together this month’s Washington and Beijing meetings are best understood as a promising foundation for continued discussions and negotiations,” he said.

Investors applauded. Among industrials, Boeing gained 3.2 percent to $362.61 and construction equipment maker Caterpillar rose 2.6 percent to $159.77. In the financial sector, JPMorgan Chase rose 0.9 percent to $112.17 and Morgan Stanley added 1.3 percent to $54.60.

RIDING THE RAILS: General Electric’s train engine division will combine with railroad equipment maker Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies in deal worth $11.1 billion as GE CEO John Flannery continues to break off parts of the conglomerate. GE will get $2.9 billion in cash and will own 50.1 percent of the combined company, and the deal will help it narrow its business down to the aviation, health care and energy industries.

Wabtec gained 3.8 percent to $98.79 and GE rose 3.2 percent to $15.45.

BANK ON IT: Fifth Third Bancorp is buying Chicago’s MB Financial for about $4.7 billion, mostly in stock. The deal values MB at $54.20 per share, and its stock rose 13.3 percent to $49.47 while Fifth Third tumbled 7.9 percent to $30.93.

GET A ROOM: Investment manager Blackstone agreed to buy LaSalle Hotel Properties for $33.50 a share, or $3.7 billion in cash. LaSalle jumped 5.6 percent to $33.70 while Blackstone rose along with other financial firms and gained 0.5 percent to $31.44.

CURRENCIES: The dollar jumped to 111.15 yen from 110.68 yen late Friday. The euro dipped to $1.1757 from $1.1773.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 0.7 percent to $71.81 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oil, added 0.4 eprcent to $78.81 per barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 3.06 percent.

OVERSEAS: The British FTSE 100 gained 1 percent and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent. The German market was closed for a holiday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.2 percent.

By MARLEY JAY - MAY 21. 2018 - 11:46 AM EDT AP

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

 
 

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