NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday, on track to snap this week’s streak of losses as investors clung to hopeful notes within the latest developments in U.S.-China trade relations ahead of a crucial round of negotiations.
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Wall Street’s major indexes reversed course from their early decline after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that the United States had received an indication from Beijing that China wants to make a trade deal.
China’s lead negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, is due to visit Washington on Thursday and Friday.
Even so, the U.S. government said in its official journal that it would raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% on Friday. China’s commerce ministry later said it would have to take retaliatory measures if U.S. tariffs were raised. [nL2N22K1AD]
The trade-sensitive industrials and technology sectors, which fell sharply earlier this week, rose slightly. Meanwhile, the defensive utilities sector fell nearly 1%.
“Really, we’re just watching a negotiation happen in front of our eyes,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago. “Things over the weekend led to the downside, and the more positive news today is leading to the upside.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 111.59 points, or 0.43%, to 26,076.68, the S&P 500 gained 8.18 points, or 0.28%, to 2,892.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.02 points, or 0.21%, to 7,980.78.
The benchmark S&P 500 remains more than 2% below its record high of 2,954.13 hit last week.
Shares of Walt Disney Co, which is due to report results after the bell, rose 1.4%. Disney was among the top boosts to the S&P 500.
Conversely, TripAdvisor Inc shares tumbled 11.8%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the online travel company’s quarterly revenue missed analysts’ estimates. TripAdvisor was also the biggest drag on the benchmark index.
With earnings season entering its final stretch, first-quarter profits are now seen rising 1.2%, a sharp improvement from the 2.3% decline expected at the start of the season.
Of the 426 S&P companies that have reported so far, about 75% have beaten profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.23-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 39 new highs and 56 new lows.
Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Chizu Nomiyama