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Stocks Up Amid Trade Hopes             06/26 10:25

   Technology companies led stocks higher on Wall Street in early trading 
Wednesday amid fresh optimism among investors that the U.S. and China are 
making progress toward a deal to resolve their costly trade war.




   (AP) -- Technology companies led stocks higher on Wall Street in early 
trading Wednesday amid fresh optimism among investors that the U.S. and China 
are making progress toward a deal to resolve their costly trade war.

   U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that a trade deal between 
the two nations was "about 90%" done during recent negotiations. President 
Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet at the G-20 
summit this weekend.

   Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources suggested the U.S. is 
willing to hold off on imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion in 
Chinese imports ahead of the next round of trade talks. The Trump 
administration has already imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese 
imports and China has retaliated with tariffs on U.S. goods.

   The escalating trade dispute remains the biggest source of uncertainty 
looming over the market. Investors are worried the fallout from the tariffs 
could hurt global economic growth and corporate profits.

   Chipmakers led the rally in technology stocks early Wednesday after Micron 
Technology forecast improved demand for smartphone chips the rest of the year.

   Energy stocks also rose as the price of U.S. crude oil climbed 2.8%. Hess 
gained 3.5% and Marathon Petroleum rose 3%.

   Banks gained as bond prices fell, sending yields higher. When bond yields 
rise it helps banks' ability to charge higher interest on loans. JPMorgan Chase 
gained 1.2% and Bank of America rose 1%.

   Health care and consumer staples stocks were among the biggest laggards. 
Johnson & Johnson fell 1.8% and J.M. Smucker dropped 3.1%.

   General Mills slumped after the packaged foods maker's latest quarterly 
results topped Wall Street's expectations, but it also reported weak sales 
trends in North America.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index was up 0.2% as of 10:28 a.m. Eastern Time. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51 points, or 0.2%, to 26,600. The Nasdaq 
composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, gained 0.7% and 
the Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 0.1%.

   The market is coming off a three-day losing streak, though it is on track to 
end June with solid gains. The benchmark S&P 500 index is about 1.1% below the 
record high it set on Thursday.

   Major stock indexes in Europe were mostly lower. 


   ALL ABOUT TRADE: This week's G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, is the first 
opportunity Trump and Xi have had to thrash out the trade dispute face-to-face 
since Trump said he was preparing to target the $300 billion in Chinese imports 
that he hasn't already hit with tariffs, extending them to everything China 
ships to the United States.

   The two sides are in a stalemate after 11 rounds of talks that have failed 
to overcome U.S. concerns over China's acquisition of American technology and 
its massive trade surplus. China denies forcing U.S. companies to hand over 
trade secrets and says the surplus is much smaller than it appears once the 
trade in services and the value extracted by U.S. companies are taken into 
account.

   How the trade war develops could affect whether central banks move in to 
support the economy. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell this week noted that the 
economic outlook has become cloudier since early May amid uncertainty over 
trade and global growth. The Fed and the European Central Bank have indicated 
they are open to cutting interest rates if needed.

   FEELING CHIPPER: Chipmakers rose broadly after Micron Technology reported 
solid quarterly results.

   Micron said demand should pick up in the second half of the year, noting it 
has begun selling products to Huawei that Micron has determined are excluded 
from the Trump administrations' ban on the sale of technology by U.S. companies 
to the Chinese telecom giant.

   Micron shares vaulted 11.4%. Advanced Micro Devices climbed 4.9% and Nvidia 
gained 5.5%.

   NOT ENTIRELY APPETIZING: General Mills slid 8.2% after the maker of Cheerios 
cereal, Yoplait yogurt and other packaged foods reported quarterly results that 
exceeded Wall Street's expectations, but also reported weak sales trends in 
North America. 


(CZ)

 
 
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