US STOCKS-S&P, Dow notch record highs ahead of signing of trade deal

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones indexes set new record highs on Wednesday on a positive tone around trade talks with China from Trump administration officials ahead of the signing of an initial deal later in the day.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 14, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The three main Wall Street indexes rose after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said negotiations on a Phase 2 deal will begin as soon as the Phase 1 was signed.

China has pledged to increase purchases of U.S. manufactured products, agricultural goods, energy and services as part of the deal, according to a report on Tuesday.

“Kudlow’s reiteration that China is going to buy more is positive and anything positive on trade helps markets,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

Investor sentiment had earlier been dented by a report that Washington would likely maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until after the presidential election in November.

Meanwhile, disappointing earnings updates from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs weighed on the S&P 500 banking sector.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but warned that of weak net interest income in the first half of 2020, knocking shares 2%.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) reported a bigger-than-expected fall in profit as it set aside more money to cover legal costs.

At 10:13 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 0.45% at 29,069.98. The S&P 500 .SPX was up 0.30% at 3,293.04 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 33.98 points at 9,285.31.

In other earnings-related news, UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N), the largest U.S. health insurer, edged up 2.5% as it affirmed its full-year outlook for 2020

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