Wall Street sets records on trade progress optimism

An agreement is still possible by the end of the year

Each of Wall Street’s three major averages kicked off the trading week with record closes on Monday as signs pointed to progress between the United States and China on a trade truce, while a round of merger deals also helped buoy sentiment.

A Chinese state-backed tabloid said Beijing and Washington were “moving closer to agreeing” to an initial pact, which lifted trade-sensitive semiconductor stocks, including Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O), up 4.18%, and Lam Research Corp (LRCX.O), which gained 2.68%. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX jumped 2.43% and was on pace for its best day in just over three weeks.

Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) rose 4.89% and paced the gains on the chip index as Morgan Stanley upgraded its shares to “overweight” from “equal weight”.

The newspaper report came on the heels of comments over the weekend by a top U.S. official that an agreement was still possible by the end of the year, dampening worries the negotiations could spill over into 2020.


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