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One topic on the table in this round of talks involves how China treats American companies' intellectual property. An agreement on that issue would go a long way toward sealing a trade deal that could prevent tariffs from rising on Chinese imports.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer arrived in Beijing on Monday for three days of talks.
The two are scheduled to meet with China’s vice premier during this trip.
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Several retail brands helped lift the markets. Shares of Tesla rose after Canaccord Genuity raised its rating on the stock to Buy from Hold and hiked its price target.
Better-than-expected quarterly results lifted shares of Restaurant Brands International.
Shares of communications companies like Comcast and CBS weighed on the market.
Meanwhile, investors will get plenty of big names reporting earnings this week. They include two Dow components, Cisco Systems (Wednesday) and Coca-Cola (Thursday), and 62 members of the S&P 500.
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Just over two-thirds of the companies in the S&P 500 are out with their October-through-December results. So far earnings and revenue are coming in comfortably above expectations, howeve,r a number of firms guiding estimates lower for the current quarter has investors concerned.
In Asian markets on Monday, China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 1.4 percent as the market returned to action following the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. Investors were optimistic about a trade deal as U.S. and China delegations resumed talks.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.7 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
In Europe, the major indexes ended the day higher. London’s FTSE added 0.9 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 1.1 percent and France’s CAC was higher by 1.1 percent.
FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.