Wall St gains as trade talks advance; Trump to declare emergency


By Amy Caren Daniel

Feb 15 () - U.S. stocks posted broad-based gains on Friday, led by a rebound in financials, as investors were optimistic about the ongoing trade talks to resolve a bruising tariff dispute between the United States and China.

President Donald Trump said talks with China "are going extremely well", and the U.S. is closer than ever to having a "real" trade deal with Beijing. Discussions between the world's largest economies will continue next week in Washington.

Hopes of a trade deal ahead of a March 1 deadline has helped the trade-sensitive industrial sector gain nearly 17 percent so far this year, making it the best performing S&P sector.

The sector rose 0.95 percent boosted by bellwethers Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc.

Another concern was Trump saying he would declare a national emergency in an attempt to fund his U.S.-Mexico border wall without congressional approval.

"The ramifications of a national emergency might be very difficult for everyone to understand," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

"The use of a national emergency for an issue like this is brand new."

Despite the threat of a national emergency, all 11 major S&P sectors were trading higher with financials up 1.70 percent, leading the gains, 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.

At 11:22 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 305.53 points, or 1.20 percent, at 25,744.92, the S&P 500 was up 18.93 points, or 0.69 percent, at 2,764.66 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 16.85 points, or 0.23 percent, at 7,443.81.

PepsiCo Inc rose 2.9 percent after the soda maker said increased investments in advertising and products will boost sales growth.

Nvidia Corp rose 3.4 percent and helped push the technology sector 0.33 percent higher, after the chipmaker forecast a demand rebound by the end of the year.

However not all earnings were robust, Newell Brands Inc plunged 19.2 percent after it forecast lower-than-expected full-year sales due to a strong dollar.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 3.25-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.92-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 40 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 60 new highs and 15 new lows.

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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