Market Update: U.S. Stocks Surge Ahead of China Trade Talks; Bitcoin Eyes Bullish Reversal

U.S. stocks surged on Thursday after a senior White House official confirmed that trade talks with China will resume later this month, sparking optimism that the world’s two largest superpowers can resolve a lingering tariff dispute.

Stocks Rebound

All of Wall Street’s major indexes put up firm gains on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging 396.32 points, or 1.6%, to 25,558.73. Shares of Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) surged more than 9% after reporting its best sales growth in a decade. Boeing Company (BA) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) each rose 4.4% and 3.2%, respectively.

The broader S&P 500 Index rose 0.8% to 2,840.69, with all 11 primary sectors reporting gains. The consumer staples category was among the best performers, rising 1.5%. Financials stocks added 1.3% as a whole.

The technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index finished well off session highs, rising 0.5% to 7,806.52.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX declined on Thursday, partially offsetting the previous day’s sharp climb. The so-called “fear index” fell 9.5% to 13.25 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic mean.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Back On

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed Thursday that China will send an envoy to Washington later this month to re-start trade negotiations between the two countries. Although the talks are expected to be low-level, they mark important progress in a relationship that has quickly deteriorated.

“The Chinese government, in its totality, must not underestimate President Trump’s toughness and willingness to continue this battle to eliminate tariffs and nontariff barriers and quotas, to stop the theft of intellectual property and to stop the forced transfer of technology,” Kudlow told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday.

U.S. tariffs targeting $50 billion worth of Chinese goods have been implemented so far. President Trump has warned Beijing that the next round of levies will be much larger.

Bitcoin Eyes Breakout

The cryptocurrency market stabilized on Thursday, with bitcoin eyeing a bullish reversal amid reports of a new bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN) being offered in U.S. brokerage accounts.

According to Bloomberg, the Bitcoin Tracker One ETN will be available to U.S. traders under the ticker symbol CXBTF. The ETN has been publicly traded on Nasdaq Stockholm since 2015. Technically, the ETN will be quoted as a foreign debt in U.S. over-the-counter markets.

Bitcoin’s price reached a high of 6,476.70 on Bitfinex. The leading digital currency would consolidate at $6,380 for a gain of 1.1%.

The broader cryptocurrency market was valued at $206.2 billion Thursday afternoon, with most major assets reporting 24-hour losses. Ethereum Classic was a notable exception; the cryptocurrency spiked 18% after Coinbase Consumer confirmed full support for ETC listings.

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