© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York
By Amy Caren Daniel and Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes traded higher on Wednesday, though off session highs, boosted by rising expectations that the United States and China could reach a deal during their ongoing trade talks, with benign inflation data offering support.
“So far, so good,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said about the U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing, a day after President Donald Trump said he would be willing to let a March 1 deadline slide if the two sides were close to a deal.
Trade-sensitive industrials rose 0.44 percent, while chipmakers, which depend on China for a large portion of their revenue, also gained, with the Philadelphia chip index up 0.62 percent.
“The optimism is really about the trade talks with China and a deal getting done, but relief about the government staying open is also helping,” said Jimmy Lee, founder and CEO of The Wealth Consulting Group in Las Vegas, Nevada.
President Donald Trump left his options open on whether to sign a funding deal that would avert another partial government shutdown, but a source familiar with the situation said he would likely back the bipartisan agreement.
“We’re back with a risk-on attitude but there’s still a little bit of profit-taking as the stock market has been up a lot this year,” said Lee.
The benchmark is set for its fourth session of gains and has rallied nearly 10 percent this year, helped by a dovish Federal Reserve, optimism on trade and a largely upbeat fourth-quarter earnings season.
Markets also took heart from inflation data that showed U.S. consumer prices were unchanged for a third straight month in January, suggesting that the Fed will hold interest rates steady for a while.