Stocks edge up as US-China trade talks resume

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Trump may impose new auto tariffs amid US-China trade talks

Kadina Group President Gary Smith and Bubba Trading Show host Todd Horwitz on whether President Trump should impose new auto tariffs.

Stocks squeaked out narrow gainsTuesday after President Trump said U.S.-China trade talks are going well.

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The latest round of trade talks between the U.S. and China got underway this week in attempt to reach a deal before the Mar. 1 deadline, which helped lift all three major equity averages into positive territory for the day.

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China's Vice Premier Liu He is expected to visit Washington this week to participate in the trade talks.

The price of crude oil, meanwhile, rose to $56.05, its highest level in three months. Noble Energy stock surged more than 5 percent. Gold prices hit a 10-month high.

Shares of Dow component Walmart got a boost after the company's fourth-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates amid concerns that a slew of investments from the world’s largest retailer to both its online platform and brick-and-mortar locations is weighing on margins. E-commerce sales at Walmart rose 43 percent in the fourth quarter, while same-store sales grew 4.2 percent – well above analyst expectations.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES25914.1+65.23+0.25%
SP500S&P 5002832.94+10.46+0.37%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX7688.527434+57.62+0.76%

Advance Auto Parts reported fourth-quarter profits that surpassed Wall Street expectations, but same-store sales growth that fell short and shares slipped.

Medtronic reported fiscal third-quarter profit and revenue that beat analyst expectations.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
WMTWALMART INC.99.66+1.24+1.26%
AAPADVANCE AUTO PARTS161.57+6.73+4.35%
MDTMEDTRONIC PLC91.89-1.90-2.03%
NBLNOBLE ENERGY23.80+0.70+3.03%

Also on the minds of traders was the White House possibly imposing double-digit tariffs on imports of vehicles and auto parts to the U.S.

The National Association of Home Builders said its index of builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose to 62 in February from 58 in January. This exceeded expectations of economists.

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In Europe, the major markets finished the day mixed. London’s FTSE was down 0.6 percent, Germany’s DAX added 0.1 percent and France’s CAC slipped 0.2 percent.

In Asian markets, China’s Shanghai Composite ended flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.4 percent and Japan’s Nikkei inched up to a 2-month high adding 0.1 percent.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.