NEW YORK — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Wednesday as investors grew more hopeful that the U.S. and China could make some progress in their latest round of trade negotiations.
China has reportedly signalled that it is still open to some kind of deal, even if it only addresses some of the trade issues. Both sides had held off from further escalating the feud up until this week, when the U.S. blacklisted a group of Chinese technology companies over alleged human rights violations.
Envoys from the U.S. and China are still expected to meet Thursday to start a 13th round of trade talks.
Technology stocks, including Microsoft and Apple, led the gains. The sector has been suffering most of the week because of uncertainty over the upcoming trade talks. Many of the companies rely on China for revenue and their supply chains.
JPMorgan Chase rose 1.2% and led bank stocks higher.
Bond yields rose in another sign that investors were shifting to higher risk, but higher growth holdings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.56% from 1.53% late Tuesday.
Health care stocks also made solid gains, along consumer services and energy companies.
Real estate companies and utilities lagged the market in a sign that investors were less interested in the safe-play sectors.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 0.6% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 118 points, or 0.5%, to 26,282. The Nasdaq rose 0.7%.
VERY VOLATILE: The sharp shifts in trade war rhetoric and actions have made for an extremely volatile market over the last few months. Investors are still hoping for a trade deal, but are not expecting it to come any time soon. Despite the gains Wednesday, stocks are still on track for their fourth weekly loss in a row as uncertainty hangs over the markets.
The S&P 500 is down 1.2% for the week and the technology-heavy Nasdaq has shed 1%. The Dow has lost 1.5%.
OVERSEAS: European markets moved broadly higher. The Bank of England said that the U.K. financial system is prepared to cope with Britain’s departure from the European Union if there is no deal on trade and other issues. Britain is currently on track to leave the 19-member trading bloc on Oct. 31.
Stocks in Asia were mixed, though Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell as anti-government protests continue.
BRUISED STOCK: Johnson & Johnson fell 1% after the health care company was ordered to pay $8 billion in punitive damages by a Philadelphia jury in a case involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press