Via Reuters Finance

(Reuters) – Wall Street hovered around record levels on Monday after Washington’s move to grant an extension for U.S. companies to do business with China’s Huawei helped ease some concerns around U.S.-China trade relations.

A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The benchmark S&P 500 and blue-chip Dow Jones indexes hit fresh record highs, while the Nasdaq was near its all-time level.

The three main indexes had opened lower after CNBC reported that the mood in Beijing about a deal was pessimistic due to President Donald Trump’s reluctance to roll back tariffs.

Investors had turned optimistic over the weekend after Chinese state media said the two sides had held “constructive” trade talks, days after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said they were getting close to a deal.

“This (CNBC report) shows that progress doesn’t happen in a straight line and that is starting to frustrate people today. It feels very herky-jerky,” said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher. Technology shares .SPLRCT reversed course to trade higher, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX also gained 0.36%.

However, defensives such as utilities .SPLRCU, real estate .SPLRCR and consumer staples .SPLRCS – also known as bond proxies due to their high dividend yields – were the biggest gainers.

Global stocks got a boost earlier in the day from a surprise cut in a key interest rate by China for the first time in more than four years.

READ ALSO  India launches vaccine drive against backdrop of growing scepticism

Attention this week turns to minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, where the central bank cut interest rates for the third time this year.

Also on the radar are results from U.S. retailers, including Home Depot Inc (HD.N), Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N).

At 11:56 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 10.28 points, or 0.04%, at 28,015.17, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 0.30 points, or 0.01%, at 3,120.76 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 2.15 points, or 0.03%, at 8,538.68.

Shares of HP Inc (HPQ.N) fell 1.2% after the company rebuffed a $33.5 billion offer from Xerox Holdings Corp (XRX.N) and said it was open to exploring a bid for the latter. Xerox dipped 0.4%.

Coty Inc (COTY.N) gained 1.3% after saying it would pay $600 million for a majority stake in Kylie Jenner’s make-up and skincare businesses, as it looks to tap into the reality TV star’s huge social media reach.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.21-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 79 new highs and 103 new lows.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Anil D’Silva