Tech leads Wall St higher as tariff delay sparks rally

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday after an announced delay of planned tariffs on some Chinese imports brought buyers back to the equities market in a broad-based rally.

Tech stocks, headed up by Apple Inc, led all three major U.S. indexes into the black following the announcement, which calmed fears over the U.S.-China trade war and growing signs of imminent recession.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the United States would hold off on imposing additional 10% tariffs on key Chinese goods, including laptops and cellphones, tariffs that were originally set to go into effect next month.

“It’s a stemming of the downward momentum because it does give some trade optimism,” said Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta. “We’re getting into the tail end of earnings season, so geopolitical and macroeconomic news will dominate the markets direction for the next few weeks.”

Apple, a likely beneficiary of the tariff delay, rose 4.2% on Nasaq, while the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index gained 3.0%.

In economic news, U.S. consumer prices accelerated in July, with core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, growing at 2.2% year-on-year, its largest gain in six months and well above the U.S. Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

The healthy inflation reading is unlikely to change market expectations for another interest rate cut from the Fed next month as it grapples with the U.S.-China trade war and its economic fallout.

“Trade issues could really disrupt economic growth,” Sroka added. “And if the Fed cuts (interest) rates in September, it could be considered a safety net, to be proactive rather than waiting until it’s too late.”

The spread between 2-year and 10-year U.S. Treasuries hit its flattest level in 12 years, reflecting anxieties over trade and geopolitical turmoil. But yields rose

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