Dow Snaps Three-Day Skid as Markets Await New Round of U.S.-China Trade Negotiations

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market headed for gains Friday, as investors weighed disappointing economic data against renewed China trade optimism. Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies reported gains, though the overall market headed for a modest weekly drop.

Dow Returns to Strength

All of Wall Street’s major indexes reported gains Friday in a back-and-forth session that threatened to derail the rally effort. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 110.32 points, or 0.4%, to 26,026.32. The blue-chip index managed to pull ahead despite a 6% drop in one of its core constituents, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA).

Despite the gain, the Dow narrowly missed recording its tenth consecutive week in the green.

The broad S&P 500 Index climbed 0.7% to close at 2,803.69. Eight of 11 primary sectors finished in positive territory, led by health care. Energy stocks also outperformed the benchmark. Related: Does this Chart Spell Doom for the S&P 500 Index?

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.8% to 7,595.35.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Hang in the Balance

Trade dialogue between the United States and China softened this week as President Trump shifted his focus to a denuclearization summit with North Korea. China and the U.S. made important progress toward a new trade agreement last month, but several sticking points remain.

Trump announced last week that Washington would not pursue any additional tariffs on Chinese imports despite the fact that no trade agreement would be reached before the March 1 deadline. Investors are now in wait-and-see mode.

According to new research from the Institute of International Finance, the trade war may have already cost the U.S. economy $40 billion in lost exports annually. The figure was calculated by looking at the U.S. export slump between July and November of last year. More on that story from Dow’s 9-Week Rally in Jeopardy as Trump Trade Deal Hangs in Balance.

Cryptos Turn Green

The cryptocurrency market capitalization approached $132 billion on Friday, as most of the top 20 coins reported modest gains.

Bitcoin, the largest and most well-known digital asset, climbed 0.6% to $3,881.78.

Ethereum’s price rose 0.5% after the network underwent two successful upgrades on Thursday. Constantinople and St. Petersburg, the sixth and seventh system-wide upgrades respectively, went live at block number 7,280,000. Ether was last seen trading at $137.70. Week in Review: Bitcoin’s Longest Losing Streak Comes to an End; Facebook Readies Launch of WhatsApp Stablecoin.

XRP notched gains of 1.9% to trade at $0.3205. EOS added 2.8% to $3.66. Litecoin gained 4.5% to $48.58.

Binance Coin surged 9.5% to $11.36, its highest since the summer. As Hacked predicted on Thursday, Binance Coin has flipped Tron for ninth spot on the market-cap index with a total value of $1.6 billion. BNB’s next target is Stellar, which is currently valued at $1.67 billion.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi