Wall St. gains on easing trade tensions, strong ADP jobs data
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Thursday on hopes of a de-escalation in trade tensions after Washington and Beijing agreed to hold high-level talks next month, while data showing strong job addition in the private sector allayed some slowdown concerns.
FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the closing bell in New York, U.S., August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
China’s Commerce Ministry said its trade team will lay the groundwork with their U.S. counterparts in mid-September for the October talks.
Technology stocks .SPLRCT led gains and provided the biggest boost among the 11 major S&P sectors, rising 1.76%.
Those gains were driven by Apple Inc (AAPL.O), which rose 2.02%, and chipmakers, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX jumping 3.43%.
“The resumption of trade talks is building enthusiasm that maybe some sort of deal, like suspension of tariffs for a while, might be in the works,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
Data showed U.S. private employers’ payrolls grew at the fastest pace in four months in August led by big gains in service-sector jobs.
The ADP National Employment Report, considered a precursor to the Labor Department’s more comprehensive jobs report, showed the private sector added 195,000 jobs in August, above economists’ expectations of an increase of 149,000 jobs.
Following a contraction in U.S. factory activity in August, investors will turn their attention to any sign of a similar slowdown in the services sector.
Data from the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing activity index for August, due out at 10 a.m. ET, is expected to show a reading of 54.0, following July’s 53.7.
However, even if non-manufacturing data comes in below expectations, it will not overshadow positive trade news, Cardillo said.
Investors will also keep a close watch on the crucial nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday, with analysts cautioning that any weakness could suggest a slowing U.S. economy.
At 9:43 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 347.73 points, or 1.32%, at 26,703.20, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 30.02 points, or 1.02%, at 2,967.80 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 96.93 points, or 1.22%, at 8,073.81.
In deal news, insurer Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N) agreed to acquire online insurance startup Assurance IQ Inc for $2.35 billion. Shares of Prudential fell 1.4%.
Among losers were the defensive utilities .SPLRCU, real estate .SPLRCR and consumer staples .SPLRCS sectors.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.96-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.95-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 47 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 15 new lows.
Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva