Dow, S&P 500 set new records ahead of signing of U.S.-China trade pact

U.S. stocks notched healthy gains Wednesday morning, with the Dow and S&P 500 setting new intraday highs, as investors await the signing of a partial Sino-American trade pact later in the session, amid a rollout of quarterly corporate earnings results.

The hoped for improvement in U.S. – China trade relations might not be immediately achieved though, with key issues left unresolved, including existing tariffs and efforts to impose restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

How are benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.52% rose 153 points, or 0.5%, at 29,093, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.38% gained 13 points, or 0.4% to 3,296, while the Nasdaq Composite index COMP, +0.41% gained 44 points, or 0.5% to trade at 9,296.

On Tuesday, the Dow closed up 32.62 points, or 0.1%, at 28,939.67 while the S&P 500 index lost 4.98 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 3,283.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended with a loss of 22.60 points, or 0.2%, at 9,251.33.

What’s drove the market?

U.S. and Chinese delegates are expected to ink a long-awaited preliminary trade pact at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time at the White House, and investors have been heartened by some of the details of the deal in the hours leading up to the signing ceremony.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Wednesday morning that the deal will include promises by the Chinese to increase their purchases of U.S. agricultural, manufacturing, and energy products, along with higher purchases of services, by more than $200 billion over the next two years.

“Between the two great nations, nothing like this has ever happened before,” Kudlow said in an interview with CNBC. He added that the deal also involves changes to Chinese regulation and criminal codes regarding intellectual property theft and counterfeiting, that he expects will reduce such

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