Investors powered U.S. stocks to broad gains Thursday, cheering plans for another round of trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, and drawing encouragement from a batch of positive economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged nearly 400 points, bond yields jumped and the price of gold fell as investors regained a bigger appetite for riskier holdings.
Markets have been rattled this summer as the longstanding trade war between the U.S. and China escalated. Past rounds of negotiations have failed to yield progress. Even so, news Thursday that envoys from Washington and Beijing plan to hold talks next month elicited fresh optimism on Wall Street that the world's largest economies may yet find a way to resolve their costly trade war.
Still, it's going to take more than news of planned talks to give the market more than a short-term boost after more than a year of trade angst-fueled market volatility, said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.
"We've seen headlines on trade so many times," Delwiche said. "It's kind of hard to believe that this news of talks is going to be somehow different from previous news of talks and yield something meaningful in terms of a deal or some sort of progress."
The S&P 500 gained 38.22 points, or 1.3%, to 2,976. The benchmark index is now 1.7% shy of its most recent all-time high set in late July.
The Dow rose 372.68 points, or 1.4%, to 26,728.15. The average was briefly up by 480 points.
The Nasdaq climbed 139.95 points, or 1.8%, to 8,116.83. Traders also favored smaller company stocks. The Russell 2000 index picked up 25.99 points, or 1.8%, to 1,510.75.
Stocks were also bolstered Thursday by positive economic data showing that companies are still hiring at a solid pace and that productivity rose at a healthy rate last quarter.