Stocks rise on optimism about trade talks

U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, booking a fourth straight session of gains, as trade negotiators for the U.S. and China extended talks for an unscheduled third day.

The decision to keep negotiating fueled optimism that the world's largest economies can strike a trade deal and avoid disrupting the global economy.

A member of the U.S. trade delegation called this week's trade talks in China "a good few days."

Another negotiating attempt, however, failed and appeared to nearly scotch the day's gains. With the closing bell approaching, President Trump walked out of a White House meeting with both Republican and Democratic leaders. The meeting was called to attempt to resolve differences that have led to a partial government shutdown.

Shares hit session highs after the Federal Reserve released minutes of the December meeting of its powerful rate-setting committee. Those minutes confirmed that the U.S. central bank approved of a dovish approach to interest rate hikes in 2019. The committee agreed to a “limited amount” of tightening of monetary policy this year in the midst of uncertainties about global growth.

The positive close Wednesday marked the longest winning streak in four months for the S&P 500 and two months for the  Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Tech stocks, and other trade-sensitive shares, were among the market's leaders.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WDC WESTERN DIGITAL CORP. 55.59 -0.72 -1.29%
MU MICRON TECHNOLOGY, INC. 68.25 -0.69 -1.00%
AAPL APPLE, INC. 149.64 +0.32 +0.21%

Oil prices extended their gains as the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. inventories fell last week. West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark crude oil, was trading above $52 for the first time since Dec. 17, 2018, on optimism about U.S.-China trade talks and reduced production from OPEC members.

Crude oil prices were higher for their eighth consecutive session, the longest winning streak since July 3, 2017.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35674.86 -82.02 -0.23%
SP500 S&P 500 4581.5 +6.71 +0.15%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15357.950275 +122.24 +0.80%

 In Asian markets on Wednesday, China’s Shanghai Composite ended the day higher by  0.7 percent.


Japan’ Nikkei closed up 1  percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE opened up 1 percent, Germany’s DAX gained 1.4 percent and France’s CAC added 1.4 percent.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.