US markets leap (again) on China trade war rumors

Posted January 18, 2019 3:16 p.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2019 4:16 p.m. EST

— Another day, another report on China trade talks that's exciting Wall Street.

The Dow jumped 336 points, or 1.3%, on Friday. The S&P 500 climbed 1.3%, while the Nasdaq advanced 1%. All three major indexes surged nearly 3% on the week. US markets have advanced four weeks in a row, the longest winning streak since the summer.

Markets gathered steam on Friday after Bloomberg News reported that China has offered to go on a "six-year buying spree" to boost imports from America. The goal would be to zero out China's massive trade surplus with the United States by 2024, the report said.

Wall Street remains very sensitive to developments on the US-China trade talks. Stocks briefly soared on Thursday on a separate report suggesting the US could ratchet back tariffs on China in a bid to calm markets and accelerate negotiations.

China-sensitive stocks benefited from the headlines. Boeing (BA) and Caterpillar (CAT) climbed about 2% apiece, while Deere (DE) and Nvidia (NVDA) soared about 3%.

Energy stocks also posted strong gains, boosted by a 3.3% surge in US oil prices to $53.80 a barrel.

Tesla (TSLA) plunged 13% after warning of a softer fourth-quarter profit and announcing layoffs. Netflix (NFLX) declined 4% as blockbuster subscriber growth was overshadowed by weaker-than-expected revenue.

US markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.