Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up, boosted by a report that U.S. and China have resolved most of their trade agreement issues.
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - Get Report) and Micron Technology (MU - Get Report)  rose following a report that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing  (TSM - Get Report) would boost its 7 nanometer production rates.
  • Blue Apron Holdings (APRN - Get Report) soared after the meal-kit company announced that CEO Bradley Dickerson resigned.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended up Wednesday on reports the U.S. and China have resolved most of their trade agreement issues.
 
The Financial Times reported that Myron Brilliant, executive vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that "90% of the deal is done."

The deal under consideration would include promises by China to rein in the forced transfer of technology from U.S. companies and the alleged theft of intellectual property. The FT said China wants existing U.S. tariffs scrapped immediately, while the U.S. wants to leave some in place. The U.S. also continues to insist on the right to unilaterally impose punitive tariffs.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said China has acknowledged for the first time that the United States has legitimate gripes about IP theft, forced technology transfer and cyber hacking, CNBC reported.

"Trade matters because it could impact corporate earnings," said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research, FTSE Russell. "As a result, the biggest thing investors will be looking for is a full rollback of all existing tariffs plus commitments not to initiate new tariffs in the future. This would be immediately accretive to 2019 earnings estimates, would ease earnings recession fears and help justify higher stock valuations."

The catch, Young added, "is that Washington would need a credible enforcement mechanism by which to ensure Chinese compliance with any deal."

"That would come in the form of an ability to quickly re-impose tariffs should the Chinese fail to comply," he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 39 points, or 0.15%, to 26,218, the S&P 500 climbed 0.21%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.60%.
 
Private companies added jobs in March at the slowest pace in 18 months, the payrolls company Automated Data Processing said. U.S. employment in the private sector increased by 129,000 jobs in March, well below the 165,000 estimated by economists in a survey by the data provider FactSet.

"Over the past 12 months, private sector employment has been on a rollercoaster and between last month's read and today, it seems like it's rolling down," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade Financial. "Looking over the past five years, it's one of the lowest reads we've experienced. That said, we're far from crisis levels. Really, it's not too much of a surprise since warning signs of stagnating growth have been flashing over the past few weeks. Based on this month's read, we could continue to see weakness in future retail sales reports. We'll be closely watching Friday's jobs data to see if this trend persists."

The tech sector was climbing Wednesday. Shares of rival tech companies Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - Get Report) and Micron Technology (MU - Get Report) rose following a Digitimes report saying Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing   (TSM - Get Report)  will boost its 7 nanometer production rates. 

Shares of AMD were up 8.5% to $29.02, while Micron Technology rose 3.4% to $43.90 a share. Taiwan Semiconductor was up nearly 1% to $41.66. 

In addition, Nomura Instinet analyst David Wong initiated coverage of Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report) , with a neutral rating, and AMD and Intel (INTC - Get Report) with buy ratings. Nvidia climbed 3.1% to $188.62, while Intel rose 2.1% to $55.48 a share. Intel also named George Davis as its new chief financial officer, hiring the executive from chip rival Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) .

  
Nvidia is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells NVDA? Learn more now.
 
Caterpillar Inc. ( CAT - Get Report) shares dipped slightly to $139.29 after analysts as Deutsche Bank cut their rating on the industrial equipment maker to hold from buy with a $128 price target on concerns the company could suffer as the world economy slows.

Shares of Signet Jewelers (SIG - Get Report)  rose about one-half percent to $27.80 after the jewelry retailer reported adjusted earnings that were better than analysts' forecasts but still below comparable year-earlier figures.

Blue Apron Holdings ( APRN - Get Report) soared after  the meal-kit company announced that CEO Bradley Dickerson has resigned. Blue Apron said Dickerson will be replaced by Linda Kozlowski, who served as chief operating officer of Etsy from May 2016 to December 2018. Shares were up 7.3% to $1.04.
 
GameStop Corp. ( GME - Get Report)  declined after the the world's largest video game retailer posted weaker-than-expected first-quarter profits and said it wouldn't give guidance on earnings for the full year. Shares were off 4.7% to $9.63.
 
Dave & Buster's Entertainment ( PLAY - Get Report) rose after the theme restaurant company posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and comparable sales growth. Shares were up 4.9% to $52.95 a share.
 
 
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