Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange March 15, 2019. — Reuters pic
NEW YORK, March 16 — US stocks rose yesterday, led by technology companies, as a report on progress in US-China trade talks lifted sentiment, pushing the S&P 500 to its best week since November.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said Washington and Beijing were making substantive progress on trade talks, providing relief after news that a summit to seal a deal between the two sides would not happen at March-end.
Chipmakers, which tend to derive a large portion of their revenue from China, rose. The Philadelphia SE chip index climbed 2.9 per cent while the S&P 500 technology index rose 1.2 per cent.
Despite the mixed news recently on the trade front, many investors expect a deal will eventually happen, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. In addition, he said, “Investors are warming up to the idea that central banks have taken a huge step backward in terms of tightening.”
US data showed manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February and factory activity in New York state was weaker than expected this month.
That followed a batch of weak data this week that lent support to the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on future interest rate hikes, which has helped to lift stocks this year.
Boeing Co closed up 1.5 per cent, lifting the Dow, after the world’s largest planemaker said a software upgrade for the 737 MAX aircraft will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Even so, Boeing’s shares for the week lost 10.3 per cent. The company’s 737 MAX jets were grounded globally following a fatal crash involving one of its planes in Ethiopia on Sunday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138.93