U.S. Stocks Surge as Trump Administration Weighs Ending Trade War With China

U.S. stocks turned higher Thursday afternoon amid reports that Washington was considering lifting tariffs on Chinese goods to expedite a trade deal with Beijing. Cryptocurrencies headed for another mediocre session overall, though altcoins showed modest upside toward the end of the session.

Stocks Extend Recovery

All three of Wall Street’s major indexes finished in positive territory, extending their winning streak to three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 163.08 points, or 0.7%, to 24,370.24, its highest settlement since Dec. 13.

The broad S&P 500 Index climbed 0.8% to finish at 2,635.96. All 11 primary sectors finished with positive results, with materials and industrials leading the way higher.

A strong performance in technology shares lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index to gains of 0.7%, where it finished at 7,084.46.

The indexes have gained more than 11% since Christmas Eve, when they traded at more than one-year lows. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq briefly entered bear-market territory in one of the worst quarters since the financial crisis.

End of the Tariff War?

The United States is strongly considering easing tariffs on China in an effort to broker a new trade deal before the self-imposed Mar. 1 deadline. According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials would like to give Beijing bigger incentive to make bigger concessions in the next round of negotiations.

Both sides held face-to-face meetings last week, with China agreeing to open up its domestic market to U.S. companies and purchase more American-made farm and energy commodities. Further talks are planned in the coming weeks.

The Mar. 1 deadline reflects the 90-day truce period agreed to by President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping in December. After meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, both leaders committed to ending the trade war and returning to the negotiating table.

Cryptos See Modest Upside

The cryptocurrency market saw the narrowest of gains Thursday thanks to a late rally by altcoins and tokens. Bitcoin cash rose 1.3% to $130.63, EOS added 3% to $2.51 and Tron gained 4% to $0.0258. Outside the top ten, IOTA, Binance Coin and Ethereum Classing gained between 2% and 5%.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency of all, rose 0.6% to $3,667.38. As we reported earlier, bitcoin continues to cling to $3,600 but a failure to extend gains beyond $3,750 could set the tone for another downward correction.

Cryptocurrencies as a whole reached a value of $122.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of about $800 million from 24 hours earlier.

In roughly one month’s time, the crypto bear market will become the longest in history, according to CNBC’s Ran NeuNer. Thursday was day 391 of the bearish trend. The previous record, set in 2015, was 420 days. Relevant reading: Longest Bear Market in Crypto History?

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 Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, 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