Stocks jumped Friday amid rising investor hopes for a truce in the U.S.-China trade war.
President Donald Trump gave an upbeat assessment of a meeting with China's top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, in Washington on Friday: "Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting," Mr. Trump said in a tweet. "Warmer feelings than in recent past, more like the Old Days."
The Dow was up 440points, or almost 1.7%, to 26,936 as of 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500 index rose 49 points, also 1.7%, and the Nasdaq added nearly 2%. Technology stocks led the way higher, with Apple's stock hitting an all-time intraday high, according to Bloomberg.
The tech sector has been closely tracking swings in trade war sentiment because many of those companies rely heavily on China for sales as well as production.
Any breakthrough on trade would mark a sharp turnaround from expectations earlier this week when the U.S. blacklisted a group of Chinese technology companies over alleged human rights violations. China has since signaled that it is open to making even a partial deal.
The Trump administration has already raised tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of Chinese imports, but the stakes have grown. The next round of tariffs, which would impact virtually everything China ships to the U.S., is scheduled to take effect on October 15.
Despite the renewed hopes for a trade deal, analysts cautioned that an agreement this week would likely only push the pause button on the dispute between the U.S. and China without tackling more fundamental issues. Those include claims of Chinese intellectual property theft and the Trump administration restricting U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei Technologies, China's flagship telecom company.
Height Securities analyst speculated that the U.S. could move to delay the tariffs on roughly $250 billion in Chinese goods set to kick in next week in exchange for China agreeing to buy more soybeans, pork and other farm goods from American farmers.
"Trade talks with China look set to conclude today with a 'mini deal,' reducing the immediate risks of a further rise in tariffs," Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist with Capital Economics, said in a client note. "But existing tariffs will remain in place, including the September tariff hike, which has yet to really affect the economy."