U.S. stock market ends higher to halt 3-day skid amid renewed trade optimism

U.S. stocks finished higher Wednesday, though off the best levels of the session, following a report that a phase-one trade U.S.-China trade deal was still in the works, helping to offset fears of a delay sparked a day earlier by President Donald Trump’s remarks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.53% rose 147 points, or 0.5%, to reach 27,650, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.63% closed up 0.6% higher at 3,112, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.54% gained 0.5% to finish the day at 8,567 (all closing levels are on a preliminary basis). Gains for the three major indexes represent their first in the past four sessions. Bloomberg News, citing sources familiar, reported that despite signs of fresh tensions, Beijing and Washington were making progress toward a phase-one trade pact. The comments also helped to provide a lift to European equities. In economic news, a report on U.S. private-sector hiring Wednesday showed that employers added just 67,000 workers in November, payroll processor ADP ADP, +0.86% said–much weaker reading than analysts had forecast. Separately, a reading on the service sector of the U.S. economy was mixed: the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index was at 53.9%, lower than in October, but new orders were at 57.1%, up from 55.6% and signaling stronger demand ahead.

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