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Stocks, Bond Yields Rise on Signs of Progress in U.S.-China Talks

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U.S. stocks and government bond yields climbed Thursday as signs of progress in trade talks with China fueled investors’ appetite for risky assets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 182.24 points, or 0.7%, to 27674.80. The S&P 500 advanced 8.40 points, or 0.3%, to 3085.18, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 23.89 points, or 0.3%, to 8434.52.

Stocks to Watch Thursday

Both the Dow and the S&P closed at all-time highs, while the Nasdaq was within 0.01% of the record it set earlier this week.

Stocks have been lifted by a resilient U.S. economy, a series of interest-rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve, hopes that the trade spat with Beijing is moving toward a resolution and a strong corporate earnings season.

Following negotiations over the past two weeks, China and the U.S. agreed to remove tariffs at the same time and by the same proportion when they sign the initial accord, a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman said Thursday. He described recent talks as “careful and constructive.”

The yield on 10-year Treasurys rose to 1.924%—its highest close since July—from 1.814% Wednesday, as investors sold U.S. government debt, seen as a haven asset. Bond yields move in the opposite direction to prices.

Gold, another haven, fell 1.7%, to $1464.20. Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil futures gained 1.4% to $57.15 on expectations that economic growth would drive energy demand.

“The economy is solid, with no sign of inflation, and geopolitical issues seem like they may be improving,” said Dan Miller, director of equities at GW&K Investment Management. “It just feels like everything is moving in the right direction.”

An employee sorts red-hot steel at a steel plant in China.


Photo:

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Still, stocks retreated from their intraday highs after media reports suggested that U.S. officials hadn’t agreed with the tariff-rollback plan.

Major hurdles, such as intellectual-property protections for U.S. companies operating in China, still confront the U.S-Chinese trade negotiations. Much of the recent optimism has focused on a limited “phase one” trade deal, which would set aside some of the thornier issues in the two countries’ trade dispute.

Investors also continued to parse a slew of fresh quarterly earnings reports on Thursday.

Shares of

Qualcomm

rose $5.35, or 6.3%, to $89.98 after the chip maker signaled a strong year ahead for 5G phone sales.



Ralph Lauren jumped $14.79, or 15%, to $115.67, making it the best performer in the S&P 500, after the fashion house’s quarterly results beat consensus expectations.

Among Thursday’s underperformers, online travel site Expedia tumbled $37.07, or 27%, to $98.29, while its rival TripAdvisor fell $9.14, or 22%, to $31.65, after their earnings fell short of forecasts. Both companies cited difficulties in getting their listings to rank high in Google’s search results.

Roku, a maker of streaming-media devices that has been an investor darling this year, fell $22.59, or 16%, to $118.46 after it issued a disappointing outlook for fourth-quarter revenue growth.

Party City plunged $4.10, or 67%, to $2 after the party-supplies retailer reported a year-on-year decline in Halloween sales and continuing negative impacts from a global helium shortage.

Of the 430 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Thursday morning, nearly three-quarters have beaten analyst expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Overseas, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.4%. In Asia, the Hang Seng Index climbed 0.6% in its sixth consecutive session of gains, while the Shanghai Composite Index was little changed.

The British pound fell 0.3% against the dollar after Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney hinted at a possible rate cut. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, ticked up 0.1%.

Beijing is giving Washington a concession in the trade talks: regulations that would level the playing field for foreign companies in China. But there are doubts about Beijing’s true commitment to opening its market. Photo: Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Write to Alexander Osipovich at alexander.osipovich@dowjones.com and Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

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Source: WSJ.com: Markets