Wall Street rallies on temporary trade truce

Published 03/12/2018 in Business News, Economy & Finance

Wall Street rallies on temporary trade truce

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Monday, boosted by gains in trade-sensitive industrial and technology stocks after the United States and China agreed upon a temporary trade detente.

Washington and Beijing agreed to a 90-day trade ceasefire during the G20 summit in Argentina on Saturday and U.S. President Donald Trump said China has agreed to “reduce and remove” tariffs below the 40 percent level that the country is currently charging on U.S.-made vehicles.

However, the White House also said that the existing 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would be lifted to 25 percent if no deal was reached within 90 days.

Strong gains in Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) pushed the technology sector .SPLRCT higher by 1.76 percent.

Apple, which gained 1.8 percent, was hit last week by worries over the next round of tariffs possibly being placed on the company’s iPhones.

“Sectors like technology have been beaten up quite a bit due to their international exposure, since today we are in ‘up’ mode, we will see investors looking to get back into these names,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

The trade-sensitive industrials sector .SPLRCI rose 1.87 percent with bellwethers Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) and Boeing Co (BA.N) up about 5 percent each.

The benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX and the Nasdaq .IXIC rose to their highest in over three weeks.

U.S. carmakers General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) rose between 2.4 percent and 4.0 percent.

Energy stocks .SPNY rose 2.0 percent as crude prices surged, helping lift Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) up by 1.5 percent and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) by 2.0 percent.

“Most of us were hoping that we would come out of these discussions with no new tariffs and a pause, which is ultimately what we got,” said Frederick.

The consumer discretionary sector .SPLRCD gained 2.1 percent, helped by a 4.2 percent rise in shares of Nike Inc (NKE.N) and a 4.0 percent gain in Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

J.P. Morgan said it expected Nike’s North America revenue growth to accelerate in the second quarter and third quarter compared to the first.

At 10:02 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 333.80 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq were up more than a percent.

After being hammered for much of the past two months, Wall Street posted its biggest weekly gain last week in nearly seven years on hopes that a truce could be reached over trade between the world’s top two economies.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX rose 2.8 percent, its highest in over a month, driven by strong gains in the shares of U.S. chipmakers, which have the highest revenue exposure to China.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.O) was up 9.2 percent.

Among few weak spots, the defensive real estate sector .SPLRCR dropped 0.25 percent, utilities .SPLRCU slipped 0.54 percent and the consumer staples sector .SPLRCS fell 0.61 percent, the only three sectors in the S&P that traded lower.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 3.32-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.12-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 30 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 55 new highs and 26 new lows.

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