Wall Street buoyed by U.S.-China trade optimism

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks gained ground on Friday, boosted by shares of technology companies, as sentiment was lifted by an upbeat note on trade talks between the United States and China.

China’s state-run news agency said Washington and Beijing were making further substantive progress on trade talks. The report came as a relief after news that a summit to seal a deal between the two sides will not happen at March-end.

Chipmakers, which get a large portion of their revenue from China, rose, with the Philadelphia SE chip index up 3.31 percent.

“The reason for a delay in a trade deal, which is now stretching into April, is because it’s complex and the market is comfortable with that,” said Anik Sen, global head of equities at PineBridge Investments in New York.

“As long as the two sides come to an understanding without escalating a tit-for-tat tariff, that is good enough.”

Domestic data showed manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February, the latest evidence of a sharp slowdown in economic growth early in the first quarter.

This follows a batch of data this week that underscored the Federal Reserve’s patient stance on future interest rate hikes and has helped the rise 2.7 percent, its biggest weekly gain in nearly 2 months.

The benchmark S&P is now just about 4 percent away from its September closing high.

British lawmakers voted to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union on Thursday, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next week.

Helping steady the markets was a reversal in losses of Boeing (NYSE:) Co, up 1 percent

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