Technology stocks helped lead the gains in early trading. Chipmakers, which have much to gain or lose from the result of the trade negotiations, were particularly strong. Nvidia rose 2.7% and Broadcom rose 1.9%.
Early trading signaled a greater appetite for risk by investors as they snapped up stocks known for higher growth, including technology and various internet stocks. Utilities and makers of consumer products lagged the market in another sign that investors were shifting away from safe-play holdings.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.4% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly unchanged at 26,541. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.6%.
TAKEOFF DELAYS: Boeing fell 3.1% after the airplane maker said a new software problem has been found in its troubled 737 Max aircraft.
Government test pilots trying out Boeing’s updated Max software in a flight simulator last week found a flaw that could result in the plane’s nose pitching down. The aircraft has been grounded worldwide after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.
The company is also facing calls for more pilot training on the aircraft, which could be costly.
SPOILED GROCERIES: Chef Boyardee and Peter Pan peanut butter maker Conagra Brands fell 8.7% after falling short of Wall Street’s fiscal fourth quarter financial forecasts.
The company makes a wide range of food products that also include Jiffy Pop and Swanson frozen dinners. It has been struggling along with other large processed food makers to compete amid shifting consumer trends to seemingly healthier food options.
BUILDING PROFIT: Homebuilder KB Home rose 7.2% after it blew past Wall Street’s profit forecasts for its fiscal second quarter.
The company reported growth in orders for new homes. The industry is benefiting from low mortgage rates. KB and its peers have also reported a