Stocks rose Friday, adding to this week’s strong gains, amid a report by Bloomberg News that China is set to up its purchases of U.S. farm products to comply with phase one trade deal.
The report eased concerns about U.S.-China trade relations as the two countries exchange heated rhetoric regarding the coronavirus.
The Dow was up 125 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 also climbed 0.5%, while the Nasdaq rose 0.8% to trade back above 10,000.
Stocks tied to the reopening of the economy gained. United Airlines rose 1.7%, while Kohl’s gained 1.6%. Oil and energy stocks were among the biggest gainers, with Devon Energy jumping 3.2%. The Energy Select SPDR ETF jumped 2.5%.
For the week, the major averages were on pace to post their fourth weekly gains in five. The Dow and S&P 500 were each up at least 3% week to date while the Nasdaq has risen 4.7%.
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite headed into Friday’s session on pace for their fourth weekly gain in five weeks. The Dow is up 1.9% week to date through Thursday’s close while the S&P 500 has gained 2.4% in that time. The Nasdaq has climbed more than 3% over that time period.
On Thursday, the Dow closed just below the flatline, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out small gains as traders traders grappled with disappointing unemployment data and rising coronavirus cases.
A report Thursday showed initial U.S. jobless claims totaled 1.5 million last week, topping a Dow Jones estimate of 1.3 million. Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in certain parts of the U.S. Texas, California, Arizona and Florida all reported its biggest-ever one-day increase.
Some investors fear that a resurgence in coronavirus cases could lead to states retaking stricter quarantine measures to curb the spread, thus thwarting expectations of a smooth economic recovery. To be sure, those increases come as states ramp up testing.
“The rally of the past few months may have led to stocks reaching within striking distance of record highs, but investors are struggling to reconcile upward momentum and less optimistic messages about the months ahead,” said Lindsey Bell, an investment strategist at Ally Invest. “That, along with concerns about a second wave of coronavirus and geopolitical tensions, has led to some serious indecisiveness.”
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