Stocks closed higher Monday, giving the major averages a second consecutive day of gains amid hopes that this week’s U.S.-China trade talks will produce a deal between the world’s two biggest economies.
American officials met their counterparts in Beijing Monday for the first face-to-face talks since President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled international markets.
China and the United States want to work together on trade, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.
Retailers helped lift the market on Monday. Dollar Tree shares jumped after activist investor Starboard Value, which is pushing the retailer to sell its Family Dollar business, bought a stake in the company. Mattel stock climbed after the toy company said it had a global licensing deal with South Korean boy band BTS.
General Electric shares rose on word that Apollo Global Management may be preparing a bid of $30 billion, or higher, for GE's airplane leasing business.
PG&E shares fell on worries that it may face so much financial liability for last year's California fires that it will have to declare bankruptcy.
Crude oil prices, which have risen in the last six trading sessions, settled at a three-week high of $48.68 per barrel.
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In Asian markets on Monday, the Shanghai Composite closed up 0.7 percent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished the day up 0.8 percent.
The Nikkei climbed 2.4 percent on Monday, tracking sharp gains on Wall Street as dovish comments from Jerome Powell and the strong non-farm payroll report.
In European trading, London’s FTSE closed lower by 0.5 percent, Germany’s DAX slipped 0.6 percent and France’s CAC was off 0.7 percent.
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Stocks came off a strong Friday session. The Dow rose 746 points, or 3.2 percent, after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank is prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly, which investors took as a dovish signal on interest rates.
His comments followed a blockbuster jobs report for December which saw annual wages jump the most since 2008.
FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.