Wall Street opens higher as report revives trade deal hopes

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rose for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday, following a report that the United States and China were moving closer to signing a ‘phase-one’ trade deal.

Washington and Beijing are getting close to agreeing on the amount of tariffs to be rolled back, Bloomberg reported, a day after comments from President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross dampened hopes of a possible near-term agreement.

A record run for the three main indexes, fueled by optimism on trade, came to a halt at the end of last week as political risks heightened between the two countries over Hong Kong.

“China and United States are playing a game of poker,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR Inc.

“They make these comments on hopes of moving the other side and it’s difficult to figure out what the reality is, but these certainly move the market if they look more promising or less promising everyday.”

The back-and-forth on trade has also made investors wary after the final month of 2018 was the worst December on Wall Street since the Great Depression.

Tariff-exposed semiconductor companies also rose, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index () up 1.8%. Shares of Apple Inc (O:) gained 0.7%.

Markets had a knee-jerk reaction to the ADP (NASDAQ:) National Employment Report, which showed U.S. private employers added the fewest jobs in six months in November.

At 10:06 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average () was up 210.03 points, or 0.76%, at 27,712.84, the S&P 500 () was up 24.42 points, or 0.79%, at 3,117.62 and the Nasdaq Composite () was up 62.35 points, or 0.73%, at 8,583.

All of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, with energy stocks () gaining

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