Dow, S&P higher on trade talk optimism, techs weigh

Dow, S&P higher on trade talk optimism, techs weigh

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(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow Industrials rose on Monday on optimism over Sino-U.S. trade talks, coupled with a rise in materials and energy shares, while a drop in technology stocks weighed on the Nasdaq.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The planned lower-level trade talks between the United States and China later this week boosted the sentiment, helping the trade-sensitive industrial sector .SPLRCI gain 0.61 percent.

“The markets are expecting the trade spat to resolve with the upcoming trade talks, with a positive trend running through the day,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC, New York.

Prices of crude oil and metals rose after weeks of declines, supported by easing concerns over a potential trade war. [O/R] [MET/L]

The energy index .SPNY rose 0.89 percent, the most among the 11 S&P sectors, while the materials sector .SPLRCM was up 0.67 percent.

The tech sector .SPLRCT was down 0.28 percent after dipping as much as 0.63 percent, helping the Nasdaq claw back some of its losses.

At 12:50 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 89.90 points, or 0.35 percent, at 25,759.22, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 6.36 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,856.49 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 1.72 points, or 0.02 percent, at 7,814.61.

With the earnings season winding down, investors are turning their attention to central bank policies.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s August policy meeting are due on Wednesday and should show policy makers are upbeat on the economy and committed to further interest rate increases.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other central bankers meet at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from Friday to discuss stubbornly low inflation, slow wage growth and lethargic productivity gains.

“Everyone is expecting the Fed to raise interest rate two times this year and twice next year and right now the fundamentals are strong, but emotions surrounding the markets are uncertain,” said Kevin Miller, chief information officer, E-Valuator funds, Virginia.

Among stocks, Nike (NKE.N) jumped 3.3 percent to a record high after two brokerages raised their ratings on the stock.

Intel (INTC.O) dropped 1.9 percent after brokerage Cowen & Co said the chipmaker’s disclosure of new security bugs in some of its microprocessors may push cloud companies to seek other suppliers.

Estee Lauder (EL.N) rose 3.1 percent after topping quarterly profit and sales estimates as customers bought more of its high-margin Clinique and La Mer skincare products.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.65-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.41-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 47 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 100 new highs and 56 new lows.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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