Wall Street's major averages were trading near their highs of the day with the Dow Jones Industrial Average holding more than a 200+ point gain and the Nasdaq up for a sixth day as progress toward a US/China trade deal and aversion of another government shutdown overshadows soft factory data and concerns surrounding the harmful impact trade tariffs were having on companies like Deere ( DE ).
The trade-sensitive agriculture equipment maker reported mixed quarterly results but warned that customers were paring back purchases given the uncertain tariff environment.
The Dow and Nasdaq were both poised to close the week higher for an eighth consecutive week, while the S&P 500 was higher for a third straight week.
Stocks were off to a strong start with gains achieved in Europe spilling into early US trade. Remarks from Chinese president Xi Jinping along with those from US trade representatives suggested trade talks will continue next week and will include President Donald Trump.
Data released before the open helped amplify the positive price action as the Empire State manufacturing index rose to a much greater-than-expected 8.8 in January from 3.9 in December, and import and export prices contracted last month with export prices at their weakest in three years.
The uptrade was briefly halted by soft industrial production and capacity utilization data but took off after buying erupted at the NYSE open and continued through a decisive improvement in consumer sentiment and headlines that another government shutdown had been averted after Trump declared a national emergency to fund a border wall with Mexico. Additionally, the president hinted that additional trade tariffs against China could be delayed as talks with Beijing are "going very well."
Euro-zone bourses closed with outsized gains, buoyed by the banking sector after the European Central Bank's Benoit Coeure set the stage for the ECB to provide cheap loans to the European banking sector. Led by Italy's FTSE-MIB, indices across the EU were higher by 1.6% to 1.7%.
Crude oil was up $1.00 to $55.41 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.02 to $2.59 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $5.20 to $1,319.10 an ounce, while silver was up $0.07 to $15.60 an ounce. Copper was up $0.02 to $2.79 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 1.57% to $11.66 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 0.17% to 23.03. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.04% to 22.08 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.23% to $124.35. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.14% to $14.67.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 114.89 points (+0.92%) to 12,555.11
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 340.71 points (+1.35%) to 25,784.17
S&P 500 was up 20.23 points (+0.74%) to 2,765.96
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22.09 points (+0.30%) to 7,449.04
FTSE 100 was up 32.92 points (+0.46%) to 7,229.93
DAX was up 187.58 points (+1.69%) to 11,277.37
CAC 40 was up 89.23 points (+1.76%) to 5,151.75
Nikkei 225 was down 239.08 points (-1.13%) to 20,900.63
Hang Seng Index was down 531.21 points (-1.87%) to 27,900.84
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 37.31 points (-1.37%) to 2,682.39
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 115.91 points (-1.11%) to 10,585.40
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 107.67 points (+1.41%) to 7,736.95
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 159.67 points (+1.01%) to 16,037.01
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(-) MRIN (-28.73%) Q4 sales were down 11%
(-) TRUE (-22.80%) Q4 results mixed analyst estimates
(-) LOGM (-13.64%) Reported worse-than-expected Q4 results