The Dow and U.S. stock market rebounded sharply on Friday, as President Donald Trump prepared to greet China’s top trade negotiator following a week of negotiations in Washington.
Dow Roars Back to Life
All of Wall Street’s major indexes reported gains on Friday and were on track for weekly increases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 188 points, or 0.7%, to 26,039.38. The blue-chip index opened 56 points higher, reflecting a strong pre-market session for Dow futures.
Twenty-seven of 30 Dow index members were trading in positive territory. Intel Corp (INTC) was the biggest gainer, climbing 2.9%. Pfizer Inc. (PFE), a leading drugmaker, rose 2.2%. Telecom giant Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) rose 1.7%. Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and The Boeing Company (BA) were also among the top gainers, rising 1.5% apiece.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index advanced 0.6% to 2,791.43, with nine of 11 primary sectors reporting gains. The S&P 500’s information technology index led the advance, climbing 1.2%. Shares of health care and communications services companies rose 1% on average.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8% to 7,516.45.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX turned lower on Friday and was on track for its lowest settlement in over four months. The VIX “fear gauge” dropped 3.7% to 13.97 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. VIX has more than halved during the eight-week rally for stocks.
The benchmarks on Thursday recorded their biggest single-day drop in two weeks after investors received mixed cues from economic data. Read more here.
Trump Welcomes China’s Top Trade Negotiator
President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with China’s top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, on Friday following a week of intense negotiations between the two parties. According to MarketWatch, U.S. and Chinese negotiators met for nine hours on Thursday.
While the China-U.S. trade war is unlikely to be resolved within the 90-day negotiating window set by Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping in December, efforts are currently underway to tackle the thorniest issues related to technology transfers and unfair state subsidies for Chinese firms. These issues cannot be resolved through tit-for-tat concessions, but require China to make structural reforms to its economy. For that reason, a trade deal isn’t expected anytime soon.
President Trump told reporters that the upcoming deadline isn’t a “magical date” for resolving the trade dispute, giving investors optimism that the negotiating window will be extended.
Beijing had previously offered to completely eliminate its surplus with Washington by promising to purchase an additional $1 trillion in U.S. goods. The buying spree would occur over a six-year period, leading to a full reversal of the trade imbalance by 2024. In response, U.S. lawmakers are reportedly open to reversing their tariff policy on Chinese goods in support of a comprehensive agreement.
Featured image courtesy of AP Photo/Andrew Harnik. Chart via TradingView.