Dow returns to 25,000 as tariff dispute 'put on hold'

U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, boosted by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s statement a day earlier that the U.S. and China had agreed to put their tariff skirmish "on hold" to work on a wider trade agreement.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 298.2 points, or 1.21%, to 25,013.29. The S&P 500 jumped 20.04 points, or 0.74%, to 2,733.01. The Nasdaq Composite was up 39.7 points, or 0.54%, at 7,394.04.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES28004.89+222.93+0.80%
SP500S&P 5003120.46+23.83+0.77%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8540.828717+61.81+0.73%

Investors bid up stocks on the news that U.S. and Chinese officials agreed to delay tariffs that both nations had threatened to impose against each other amid a dispute over trade terms. The agreement, which developed over the weekend, came as China agreed to buy more American goods.

With Monday's gains, the Dow is about 16 points away from recovering all of its losses that followed President Donald Trump’s March 1 announcement of tariffs.

Last week, U.S. stocks declined as global trade concerns and rising interest rates limited investors' appetites for risk.

Commenting on Mnuchin’s comments, Jonas Ferris, co-founder of MAXfunds.com, said:  “ ‘On hold' might mean we 'are scared' and lost the game of chicken we were playing with China. This may have something to do with our interest rates rising – perhaps China played the we're not buying your debt card.”

Last week, the Dow industrials fell 0.5%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.5% and the Nasdaq shed 0.7%, snapping a two-week winning streak.

In corporate news, General Electric's transportation unit will merge with Wabtec in a deal valued at $11.1 billion, sending GE shares nearly 2% higher. However, the stock pared some of its gains after FOX Business' Charlie Gasparino reported that GE could further cut or eliminate its dividend.

World Wrestling Entertainment rallied more than 12% on reports that the company is nearing a deal to air its "SmackDown" program on FOX. Twenty-First Century Fox is the parent company of FOX and FOX Business.

Oil settled at its highest level in three and a half years, with West Texas Intermediate crude rising 1.35% to $72.24 per barrel.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.