Stocks claw back on trade talk optimism

Stocks closed near session highs on Thursday amid another volatile session. The Dow Jones Industrials climbed back from losses to gain 208.77 points or 0.8 percent, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 captured gains of over 1 percent each. The S&P snapped five days of losses.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES28135.38+3.33+0.01%
SP500S&P 5003168.8+0.23+0.01%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8734.879088+17.56+0.20%

The catalyst for the turnaround in stocks was linked to optimism that the U.S. is expected to suspend the next round of tariffs against China. These developments helped offset fears over unrest in Britain as Theresa May deals with cabinet defections. While geopolitics played a role, financial markets also got a helping hand from Apple and JPMorgan. The bank got a vote of confidence from the Oracle of Omaha late Wednesday after Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a new stake in the nation's largest bank.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AAPLAPPLE INC.275.15+3.69+1.36%
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.136.81-1.21-0.88%

In company news, Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, said its third-quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) beat Wall Street expectations, but revenue was a miss. Revenue was $124.9 million, less than the $125.5 million analysts polled by Refinitiv expected. EPS was $1.08, higher than the $1.01 that had been expected. The retailer also boosted its outlook. Still the shares fell. J.C. Penney shares popped even though the company gave a not so cheery holiday forecast. New CEO Jill Soltau outlined a plan to help turnaround the struggling retailer which has lost 61 percent of its value this year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WMTWALMART INC.120.29+0.53+0.44%
JCPJ.C. PENNEY1.11-0.02-1.77%

PG&E shares lost another 30 percent as analysts weigh in on libailties tied to the California wildfires the utility provider is facing, perhaps as high as $13 billion, which exceeds what the company likely has available.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PCGPG & E CORP.11.24-0.48-4.10%

It was another wild ride for U.S. equities on Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average clawed back from a loss of about 350 points, finishing the session down 205.99.

Apple shares, nearing a bear market, fell nearly 3 percent, dragging the Nasdaq Composite down 64.48 points or nearly 1 percent. As for the broader S&P, financials such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs dipped, after Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA] said she would likely end President Trump’s rollback of regulations for financial institutions as she prepares to become Chair of the House Financial Services Committee following the midterm election swing which left Democrats in control of the house.

General Electric tumbled another 3 percent as investors weighed an offering of Baker Hughes, which is majority owned by GE. Concerns continue to mount over the industrial company’s debt levels and the urgency to sell assets.

FOX Business' Ken Martin and Leia Klingel contributed to this report.