Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street as traders turned hopeful that meetings in Washington will yield progress on the long-running U.S.-China trade dispute and more in Thursday’s Stock Market Update.

Markets were encouraged Thursday after President Donald Trump said he would meet with China’s lead negotiator on Friday.

“It’s really good that Trump is meeting him, because that increases the odds that some type of positive news may happen tomorrow,” said Brad Bernstein, senior portfolio manager at UBS Global Wealth Management.

Technology stocks posted solid gains. Skyworks Solutions added 5.1%.

Bed Bath & Beyond soared 21.5% after naming a new CEO, and PG&E plunged 29% after a bankruptcy judge allowed creditors to have input into the restructuring of the troubled utility.

Markets have been jittery all week as investors continue to assess the potential for a deal as tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated ahead of the talks. The U.S. blacklisted a group of Chinese technology companies over alleged human rights violations earlier this week. Meanwhile, China has clashed with the NBA and U.S. companies over free-speech issues.

Several big banks helped lift financial sector stocks, including Bank of America, which climbed 2%. The sector benefited from rising bond yields, which allow banks to charge higher interest rates on loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.66% from 1.58% late Wednesday, a big move.

Technology stocks also notched solid gains. The sector is particularly sensitive to any news coming out of trade negotiations because many of the companies rely on China for sales growth and supply chains. Apple gained 1.3%. Chipmakers also rose. Intel added 1.2% and Nvidia picked up 1.2%.

Energy companies benefited from a 1.8% increase in crude oil prices. Safe-play sectors like utilities and real estate lagged the market.


KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 18 points, or 0.6%, to 2,938. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 150 points, or 0.6%, to 26,496. The Nasdaq added 47 points, or 0.6%, to 7,950, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 0.4%.

Major indexes in Europe closed broadly higher. Asian markets finished mixed.

ALL ABOUT TRADE: The trade war between the U.S. and China has dragged on for 15 months, inflicting economic damage on both countries and raising fears of a global recession.

The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of Chinese imports. Tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods are set to increase to 30% from 25% on Oct. 15, and new tariffs will kick in on another $160 billion on Dec. 15. That would extend import taxes to virtually everything China ships to the United States. China has hit back by targeting about $120 billion in U.S. goods, focusing on farm products.

While representatives of both countries have failed to make progress in resolving the trade conflict, there is more pressure this time for them to reach some type of agreement, even if it’s merely to keep additional tariffs from kicking in, Bernstein said.

“The stakes are higher now than they’ve been in most, if not all, of the recent negotiations, because there are tariffs that are scheduled to increase in five days on China, which will directly impact you and me, and the economy and the world,” he said.

GROUNDED: Delta Air Lines fell 1.5% after the company gave investors a weak profit forecast for the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter is among the busiest for U.S. airlines because of holiday travelers.

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