By ALEX VEIGA
The Associated Press
Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Monday as investors found reason to be cautiously optimistic again about the potential for progress in the costly trade war between the U.S. and China.
The gains reversed some of the major stock indexes' hefty losses from last Friday, when jitters over the latest escalation in the trade dispute roiled the market, contributing to its fourth straight weekly loss.
Monday's rally got its start early after President Donald Trump said his negotiators had received encouraging calls from China on Sunday, though China's foreign ministry denied knowledge of any such calls.
That, and the fact that the trade conflict has repeatedly seen both sides attempt to negotiate before ending in acrimony and more tariffs and trade penalties, did not dim investors' willingness to bid stocks higher.
Big technology companies, which do a lot of business in China and have much riding on the outcome of the trade dispute, accounted for a big share of the gains. Apple climbed 1.9% and Microsoft added 1.5%.
"It always seems that Trump, after he does something to freak the market out or escalate this trade war, he tries to dial it back to some degree," said Brad Bernstein, senior portfolio manager at UBS Wealth Management USA. "As an investor, you just have to know there's a lot of uncertainty and there is no clarity in the short term right now."
The S&P 500 rose 31.27 points, or 1.1%, to 2,878.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 269.93 points, or 1.1%, to 25,898.83. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, rose 101.97 points, or 1.3%, to 7,853.74.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 16.52 points, or 1.1%, to 1,476.
The major indexes are each on track for losses of 3% or more in August in what has been a volatile month for the market.
This is as investors try to gauge whether trade conflicts and slowing economies around the world will drag the U.S. into a recession.
Along the way, traders have been repeatedly whipsawed by the turns in the trade war between the world's biggest economies.
The conflict escalated once again on Friday, after China announced new tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. Trump responded angrily on Twitter, at one point saying he "hereby ordered" U.S. companies with operations in China to consider moving them to other countries, including the U.S.
Trump also later announced that the U.S. would increase existing tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% from 25%, and that new tariffs on another $300 billion of imports would be 15% instead of 10%.
The new round of tariff threats caused a sell-off on Friday that erased more than 600 points from the Dow.