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US STOCKS-Wall Street rises as trade optimism counters weak data

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ ortype LIVE/ in a news window.)

* S&P 500 and Dow snap three-day losing streak

* China data weak, Feb U.S. manufacturing, consumersentiment weak

* Indexes up: Dow 0.43 pct, S&P 500 0.69 pct, Nasdaq 0.83pct (Updates to close, adds commentary)

By Sinéad Carew

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow JonesIndustrial Average snapped a three-day run of losses on Fridayas optimism about the prospects for a U.S.-China trade agreementcountered downbeat U.S. and China manufacturing data.

The Nasdaq meanwhile marked its longest streak of weeklygains since late 1999. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20O1IU

Following President Donald Trump's announcement last weekendof a delay in higher tariffs on Chinese imports, Bloombergreported late Thursday that a summit between Trump and hisChinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign a final trade deal couldhappen as soon as mid-March. https://bloom.bg/2T6eJOc

"The optimism over trade resolution is outweighing theweakening economic data," said Ryan Detrick, senior marketstrategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A private survey showed China's factory activity contractedfor a third straight month in February, though at a slower pace,indicating a marginal improvement in domestic demand as a flurryof policy stimulus kicked in from late last year. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20O1JMurn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nUSNSDEFQK

ISM data also showed U.S. manufacturing activity forFebruary dropped to its lowest since November 2016, and theUniversity of Michigan survey showed consumer sentiment fellshort of expectations in the month. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nN9N1ZZ007

Detrick said that while the data was weak investors hoped aU.S.-China trade deal would improve global growth prospects.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 110.32 points,or 0.43 percent, to 26,026.32, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 19.2points, or 0.69 percent, to 2,803.69 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 62.82 points, or 0.83 percent, to 7,595.35.

Friday marked the first close above 2,800 for the S&P sinceNov. 8. Nate Thooft, global head of asset allocation forManulife Asset Management in Boston said technical investorswould see a close above that level "as a good omen."

The index closed 4.2 percent under its September recordclosing high. It has risen 11.8 percent so far this year,bolstered by trade hopes and the Federal Reserve's cautiousstance on interest rates.

For the week, the S&P rose 0.4 percent while the Dow fell0.02 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.9 percent.

Of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, eight were gainers on theday. The healthcare sector .SPXHC rose 1.4 percent, providingthe biggest boost and supported by gains in companies includinghealth insurer UnitedHealth GroupUNH.N which bounced backafter falling for much of the week.

The consumer discretionary sector .SPLRCD rose 0.9percent, with the biggest lift from Amazon.comAMZN.O .

Foot LockerFL.N shares rose 5.9 percent after theretailer beat quarterly same-store sales estimates and helpeddrive a 1.9 percent gain in shares of Nike IncNKE.N , thesecond biggest boost to the sector.

Gap IncGPS.N surged 16 percent, making it the biggestpercentage gainer in the S&P, after it said it would separateits better-performing Old Navy brand and close about 230 Gap stores. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20O3SF

The energy sector rose 1.8 percent despite a decline in oilprices. O/R

A U.S. Commerce Department report showed inflation pressuresremaining tame, which along with slowing domestic and globaleconomic growth, gave more credence to the Federal Reserve's"patient" stance toward raising interest rates further thisyear. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20N1UN Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a1.79-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.86-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 54 new 52-week highs and no new lows; theNasdaq Composite recorded 92 new highs and 29 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.95 billion shares, comparedwith the 7.27 billion average for the last 20 trading days. (Additional reporting by Charles Mikolajczak in New York,Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by DanGrebler and Tom Brown) ((sinead.carew@thomsonreuters.com; +1 (646) 223 6186; ReutersMessaging: sinead.carew.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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