Stocks close sharply higher, 4th straight week of gains

U.S. stocks closed higher Friday -- their fourth consecutive weekly gain -- after China reportedly offered to increase its imports from America over a six-year-period to reduce the trade imbalance between the two nations.

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Equities also got a lift from a Wall Street Journal report that the Trump administration was considering rolling back tariffs on Chinese goods to ensure that current trade negotiations – set to end March 1 – are successful.

Meanwhile, China’s top trade negotiator, Liu He, is expected to travel to the U.S. later this month for the negotiations.

Bloomberg reported that China had offered to ramp up U.S. imports in order to reshape relations between the two countries. This came on the heels of another report that said the U.S. may ease tariffs imposed on some Chinese imports.

Global oil prices surged after oil cartel OPEC reported its biggest monthly production in nearly two years. That helped lift shares of oil services giant Schlumberger, which depends on capital investments by petroleum exploration and production companies. Other oil stocks also rose.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CVXCHEVRON CORP.92.43-3.18-3.33%

John Williams, president of the New York Federal Reserve and a voting member of the central bank’s powerful rate-setting committee, said the Fed would be guided by economic data in its decision about when or if to raise interest rates.

The net effect of the trade news and oil prices was a boost in investor sentiment.

All three major equity averages have now climbed at least 10 percent since they bottomed on Christmas Eve. All three indexes have now notched their biggest four-week gain since 2011.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29868.15-178.09-0.59%
SP500S&P 5003629.48-5.93-0.16%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12096.227538+59.44+0.49%

U.S. stock markets will be closed on Monday, Jan. 21, for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Among the most active were shares of Tesla, which fell after announcing jobs cuts in an effort to reduce the cost of the Model 3 sedan.

Netflix also declined after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly sales and gave downbeat revenue targets for the current quarter.

CVS Health rose after settling its disagreement with Walmart and reached a deal on a new pharmacy network.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TSLATESLA INC.572.76+17.38+3.13%
NFLXNETFLIX INC.484.65+1.77+0.37%

In Asian markets on Friday, China’s Shanghai ended the session up 1.4 percent and 1.7 percent for the week, a third straight week of gains.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished the day 1.3 percent higher and  1.6 percent higher for the week.


Japan’s Nikkei  average ended the day 1.3 percent higher and up 1.5 percent for the week.

European markets finished the day higher. London’s FTSE added 2 percent and 0.7 percent for the week, Germany’s DAX rose 2.6 percent and 2.9 percent for the week, France’s CAC gained  1.7 percent and 2 percent for the week.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.