Stocks Extend Gains With US Measures Higher Amid Trade-Talk Optimism

Equities in the US climbed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite and the Standard & Poor’s 500 both up for a fourth straight time on optimism about trade talks taking place this week between the world’s biggest economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up for a second session and extended its gap above the 200-day moving average as President Donald Trump expressed optimism about the negotiations.

“We have a big team of people, very talented people, over in China right now, negotiating a China deal,” he told reporters, according to the White House press pool report. “It’s going along very well. We’ll see what happens but I think it’s going along very well. They’re showing us tremendous respect.”

Stocks are taking cues from the state of trade negotiations as the US and China try to reach a deal before a March 1 deadline that would see tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports increased to 25% from 10% currently.

“Short-term momentum indicators show mildly overbought conditions right now- so a pause or some profit taking / consolidation could materialize in sessions ahead,” Dan Wantrobski, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott said in a note.

On the S&P 500, nearly all sectors ended stronger, with energy leading the way. The group rose 1.2% by the close as oil prices firmed, even as weekly stockpiles showed a fourth-straight build for the indicator of US output. Phillips 66 (PSX) rose 2.2% and Marathon Petroleum (MPC) added 2.8%.

In company news, Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) fell 7.8% after its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings missed analysts’ expectations. Diebold Nixdorf (DBD) surged 39% after fourth-quarter revenue topped Street predictions.

By the close, the Dow was up 0.5%, the S&P 500 gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq added 0.1%.