Wall St. clings to slight gains after Trump sparks U.S.-China trade hopes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indexes edged higher on Friday in a rebound from the previous session’s losses after upbeat comments from U.S. President Donald Trump regarding trade relations with China assuaged concerns among some investors.

Trump said late on Thursday that he saw a resolution to the trade war with China “happening fast.” He added that Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which the White House has blacklisted, could also be included in a trade deal.

Still, he called Huawei “very dangerous.”

No high-level talks between the United States and China have been scheduled since the last round of negotiations in Washington two weeks ago.

Yet the positive comments from Trump were enough to give a slight lift to U.S. stocks, which were trading in relatively light volume ahead of a long weekend. U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

“Today is being positively influenced by the latest comments from our president, but it’s overall a fairly flat day in the markets,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.

Even with Friday’s slight advance, the S&P 500 is on pace to end the week more than 1% lower to notch the third straight week of losses for the benchmark index, which has been weighed down by fears that the U.S.-China trade war would result in a global economic slowdown.

Adding to concerns about a slowing broader economy, data showed that new orders for U.S.-made capital goods fell more than expected in April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115.35 points, or 0.45%, to 25,605.82, the S&P 500 gained 8.05 points, or 0.29%, to 2,830.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 22.02 points, or 0.29%, to 7,650.31.

Financials led percentage gains among the S&P 500’s major sectors, adding 0.8% as U.S. Treasury yields rose for the first time in three days.

Foot Locker Inc shares plunged 16.4%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the footwear retailer missed quarterly profit and same-store sales estimates.

Total System Services Inc shares jumped 13.5% on reports that fellow payment technology services company Global Payments Inc is nearing a deal to acquire the company. Global Payments shares rose 3.4%.

Autodesk Inc shares fell 4.1% after the software maker reported quarterly revenue and earnings that were below expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.98-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.83-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and 16 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 37 new highs and 105 new lows.

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