Stocks Rebound as U.S.-China Trade Agreement Is Seen as Closer

Stocks finished higher Wednesday, breaking a three-day slide, on news that a U.S.-China trade deal may happen before American tariffs are set to rise on Dec. 15.
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Stocks finished higher Wednesday following news that a trade deal between the U.S. and China may happen soon, despite President Donald Trump's earlier comments that an agreement might not come until after the 2020 presidential elections.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which rose more than 220 points, finished up 147, or 0.54%, to 27,650. The S&P 500 rose 0.63% and the Nasdaq advanced 0.54%.

JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report, Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report, and Johnson & Johnson were leading the Dow's advance .

Stocks fell Tuesday after Trump told reporters in London that he had no deadline in mind for a U.S.-China trade pact and added that it would "probably be better" to wait until the end of the 2020 elections.

However, Bloomberg News reported that U.S. negotiators expect a phase-one deal with China to be completed before American tariffs are set to rise on Dec. 15. Trump's comments were not intended to say the talks were stalling, Bloomberg said, citing anonymous sources, as he was "speaking off the cuff."

Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report rose 1.9% to $1,318.94 after Google's parent said that CEO Larry Page is stepping down. Page's duties will be taken on by Sundar Pichai, currently CEO of Alphabet's Google unit. Alphabet is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get Report slipped 3.2% to $156.43 after the cloud-software company beat Wall Street's third-quarter earnings expectations, but offered a disappointing outlook.

Marvell Technology (MRVL) - Get Report fell 4.9% to $23.92 after the semiconductor company reported third-quarter revenue and a fourth-quarter outlook that missed expectations. Fiscal-third-quarter earnings were in line with forecasts.

Expedia (EXPE) - Get Report , the top gainer on the Nasdaq, soared 6.2% to $105.56 after CEO Mark Okerstrom and CFO Alan Pickerill resigned from the online travel company.

Campbell Soup  (CPB) - Get Report rose 1.9% to $48.46 after the food and beverage company reported first-quarter results that were mixed, while also cutting its sales forecast due to the divestiture of its European chips business earlier this year.

United Airlines (UAL) - Get Report dipped nearly 1% to $88.17 after the airline said it will buy 50 new Airbus A321XLR aircraft and begin replacing and retiring its existing fleet of Boeing 757-200 aircraft. United will defer delivery of the larger, wide-body Airbus A-350 until 2027. Boeing was off about 1% to $348.84.

Meanwhile, United is waiting for Boeing's (BA ) - Get Reporttroubled 737 MAX to be returned to service. The aircraft has been grounded since March following two fatal crashes.

Separately, Ryanair (RYAAY) - Get Report it would receive just half of its 20 planned  737 MAX aircraft deliveries, Reuters reported. That will lead to closure of two bases and cutting of its summer capacity at other bases, putting jobs at risk, according to the report.

In economic news, private employers added 67,000 jobs during the month, Automatic Data Processing said. That was below economists' average forecast for a gain of 125,000 and also below the revised 121,000 private jobs tallied up by ADP in October.

"The second half of 2019 was going gangbusters, but December has been off to a pretty rocky start," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade. "To start the week, we had market turbulence from trade and this morning we’re seeing a severe dip in mortgage applications and weak ADP numbers."

Looking at this data over the long term, he said, "it’s the lowest we’ve seen since May and in reviewing the past five years it’s some of the weakest in recent history."

"That said, it’s a far cry from financial crisis lows," Loewengart continued. "The healthcare sector has really been a bright spot in this ADP data time and again which is good news but smaller businesses and manufacturers continue to face employment headwinds"

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its non-manufacturing activity index fell to a reading of 53.9 in last month from 54.7 in October. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the services sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Economists had expected the index to slide to a reading of 54.5 in November.