Dow Climbs Ahead of Trade Talks as China Signals Interest in Partial Trade Pact

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Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose Wednesday ahead of high-level trade talks Thursday in Washington after a report said China was still open to a partial trade agreement with the U.S. as long as the Trump administration doesn’t impose any more tariffs. 
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJGet Report) fell after a jury in Pennsylvania ordered the company to pay $8 billion in damages linked to side effects from its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
  • American Airlines  ( AAL)  said it plans to extend cancellations linked to the grounded Boeing ( BAGet Report) 737 MAX into at least early January.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks were rising Wednesday ahead of high-level trade talks Thursday in Washington after a report said China was still open to a partial trade agreement with the U.S. as long as the Trump administration doesn’t impose any more tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 156 points, or 0.6%, to 26,320, the S&P 500 climbed 0.68% and the Nasdaq rose 0.77%.

Chinese officials are looking for assurances that no further tariffs will be applied to U.S. imports ahead of Thursday’s  crucial trade talks in Washington, a Bloomberg report said, but noted that Beijing was willing to step-up the pace of agricultural purchases even as it held to its earlier position on issues such as industrial reforms and state-owned company subsidies.

Two rounds of higher duties are set to take in October and in December.

Tensions still remain between the world’s two largest economies as the U.S. announced restrictions and sanctions on Chinese interests and Beijing warned to “stay tuned” for reprisals.

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday announced visa restrictions on senior Chinese officials, a move it tied to the Commerce Department’s decision to blacklist eight China-based technology companies, as well as 20 separate entities, for their role in mistreating ethnic minority Muslims around China.

The two policy moves followed a report that said White House officials were looking at ways in which to limit government pension fund investments in Chinese stocks, which only added to the broader feelings of ill will ahead of the trade talks, which are scheduled to include China’s Vice Premier Liu Hie, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Stocks had finished lower Tuesday as optimism waned ahead of the negotiations.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJGet Report) fell nearly 1% to 130.72 after a jury in Pennsylvania ordered the consumer healthcare giant to pay $8 billion in damages linked to side effects from its antipsychotic drug Risperdal, opening the potential for similar suits around the state.

American Airlines  (AAL) rose 2.1% to $26.82 after the company said it plans to extend cancellations linked to the grounded Boeing (BAGet Report) 737 MAX into at least early January.

Levi Strauss (LEVI) dropped 1.7% to $18.63 as the apparel company reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings but saw profits drop. Levi Strauss is Real Money’s Stock of the Day.

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