Stocks extend week's gains on trade optimism

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US-China trade talk impact on the markets

Baird chief investment strategist Bruce Bittles discusses the importance of a trade deal with China in terms of market performance.

Stocks rose Wednesday, extending this week's gains, on optimism that the White House may let a March 1 deadline to reach a U.S.-China trade deal slide.

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All three major averages rose, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite did not rise enough to escape bear market territory. Both the S&P 500 and the Nadaq have now risen four days in a row.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are participating in high-level trade talks in Beijing. Also, the South China Morning Post reported that President Xi Jinping will meet Friday with the American officials on Friday.

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Traders were encouraged by reports that President Trump will sign a spending compromise to prevent another partial-government shutdown, even though it doesn’t include as much money as he wants for border protection.

The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to vote on the bipartisan legislation Friday.

In economic news, U.S. consumer prices were unchanged for a third straight month in January, leading to the smallest annual increase in inflation in more than 1-1/2 years.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES26135.79+249.78+0.96%
SP500S&P 5002923.65+34.97+1.21%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8002.812313+106.82+1.35%

Investor sentiment was lifted by a number of strong quarterly performance reports. Hilton Worldwide turned in a robust fourth-quarter earnings report, beating Wall Street expectations.

Shares of the Interpublic Group of Companies jumped after the company reported that its global fourth-quarter revenue growth topped its rivals.

Activision Blizzard stock climbed after the company said it would cut 800 jobs and launch a share buyback, which offset the results off a quarterly sales miss and a weak outlook.

Dish Network shares dropped after the U.S. satellite TV service provider lost more-than-expected pay-TV subscribers in the fourth quarter.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
HLTHILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC.93.46+0.45+0.48%
IPGINTERPUBLIC GRP20.48+0.38+1.89%
ATVIACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC.47.92+1.26+2.70%
DISHDISH NETWORK CORPORATION32.59+0.63+1.97%

In Asian markets on Wednesday, China’s Shanghai rose 1.8 percent on trade deal optimism. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.2 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei surged 1.3 percent.

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In Europe, the major markets ended the day higher.  London’s FTSE added 0.8 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 0.4 percent and France’s CAC rose 0.4 percent.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.