Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finishes up Thursday after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said "good headway" had been made in trade talks between the U.S. and China.
  • Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report  fell sharply after the electric carmaker reported disappointing first-quarter deliveries.
  • Constellation Brands (STZ) - Get Constellation Brands, Inc. Class A Report  rose after beating fourth-quarter earnings expectations and selling off 30 wine and spirit brands to Gallo for $1.7 billion.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks closed mixed Thursdays as investors sought more clarity about the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks as Vice Premier Liu He, China's top trade negotiator, was scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump in the White House.

Reports have suggested the trade talks were nearing a conclusion. 

Bloomberg says China could agree to purchase U.S. goods worth more than $1 trillion, as well as open its markets to further American investment, in exchange for a multi-year window in which to meet certain conditions on intellectual property and technology transfer protections. The Financial Times said the two sides were close to a deal on most of the major issues, but were still negotiating ways in which China could implement them under U.S. monitoring. 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters in Washington there had been "good headway" made in this week's talks before adding "we're not there yet." Myron Brilliant, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president, said the U.S. and China were moving toward "the end game" in trade talks, but are unlikely to complete a deal this week, the Wall Street Journal said.

Clouding sentiment were comments from Trump that he would give Mexico a year to stem the flow of illegal drugs over the southern border or he said he would either close the border or impose tariffs on cars.

Some observers said the year-long deadline should let investors and Republicans breathe easier as it kicks the threat of economic turmoil down the road. 

Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at The Wilson Center in Washington, DC, said in a statement that "imposing tariffs on cars for this reason would be a huge violation of existing trade rules."

"What's more, it would be immensely costly for U.S. auto producers and consumers," Wood said. "It's difficult to see this as a credible threat. The Mexican government will surely view this threat with some skepticism as well as frustration after making significant concessions to Trump on migration last week."

Trump also appears ready to nominate former Republican presidential candidate and Godfather's Pizza founder Herman Cain to a seat on the board of the Federal Reserve. Cain served as chairman of the Kansas City Fed from 1989 to 1996.

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Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the Fed, charging that a series of rate hikes has limited U.S. growth. Last month, Trump said he would nominate  economic commentator Stephen Moore to the Fed board.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 166 points, or 0.64%, to 26,384, the S&P 500 recorded its first six-day winning streak since February 2018, rising 0.21%, while the Nasdaq fell 0.05%.

Leading the Dow higher were Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report , Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report  and Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report .

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Boeing rose despite officials in Ethiopia saying the 737 MAX 8 plane that crashed shortly after takeoff last month was airworthy and that pilots followed all proper procedures prior to the catastrophe that killed all 157 passengers on board. Shares closed up 2.9% to $395.94.

Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report tumbled after the electric carmaker reported disappointing first-quarter deliveries, while investors eyed a hearing in federal court over founder and CEO Elon Musk's contempt battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Musk appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday to face contempt charges brought by the SEC, which alleges the Tesla CEO posted tweets that misstated, then clarified production targets for 2019. The judge gave the SEC and Elon Musk two weeks to settle their differences before making a ruling in the SEC's contempt case against Musk.

Shares closed down 8.2% to $267.78.

Constellation Brands (STZ) - Get Constellation Brands, Inc. Class A Report  rose 6.6% to $191.49 after the beer, wine and spirits company beat fourth-quarter earnings expectations and agreed to sell a portfolio of 30 lower-priced wine and spirit brands to E. & J. Gallo Winery for around $1.7 billion. 

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