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Wall Street extends gains as trade talks progress

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street extended its gains on Wednesday as investor optimism was stoked over hopes that the and could iron out a trade deal, and tame inflation data suggested the Fed would hold interest rates steady in the near term.

All three were up, and the S&P 500 held above its 200-day moving average, a key technical level.

In Beijing, said "so far, so good," regarding ongoing talks aimed at resolving the U.S.-trade dispute, adding that he hoped for "productive" meetings in the days ahead.

"The market is ahead of itself until we get a deal with China," said Matthew Keator, in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, "It seems to be a bit of a moving target, but it seems both sides are willing to construct a deal."

The reported that consumer prices were unchanged for the third consecutive month in January, and increased at their slowest annual pace in more than 1-1/2 years in a sign that the Federal Reserve could let interest rates stand for a while.

Fourth-quarter earnings season approaches the finish line, with more than two-thirds of S&P 500 having reported.

While analysts now see fourth-quarter earnings growth of 16.6 percent, the outlook for the current quarter is less auspicious.

Fourth-quarter profit is projected to fall 0.3 percent from a year ago, marking the first loss since the earnings recession that ended in 2016, according to Refinitiv data.

"Volatility in the fourth quarter was a precursor to what we're seeing now," said Keator. "are resetting expectations going forward."

The rose 90.76 points, or 0.36 percent, to 25,516.52, the S&P 500 gained 8.17 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,752.9 and the Composite added 19.29 points, or 0.26 percent, to 7,433.91.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but utilities were in positive territory.

were among the biggest percentage gain as saw their largest increase since late January.

Inc sank 12.1 percent, among the biggest losers on the as reduced traffic led to a fourth-quarter profit miss.

Generic drugmaker dropped 7.8 percent after forecasting a weaker-than-expected 2019 due to new competition for branded drugs.

advanced 3.1 percent following that the conglomerate booked the most orders for in 2018.

filed documents for an IPO after more than three decades as a privately-held company. Rivals Abercrombie & Fitch, and dropped on the

Cisco Systems' stock was down 0.8 percent ahead of its earnings release, expected after the bell.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.80-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.40-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Composite recorded 67 new highs and 15 new lows.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 01:40 IST