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Stocks Jump as Trade Talks Progress    05/21 12:58

   Stocks are rising Monday morning after the U.S. and China appeared to make 
major progress in trade talks.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are rising Monday after the U.S. and China appeared 
to make major progress in trade talks. The Chinese government says it will buy 
more U.S. goods, including energy and agricultural products, and Treasury 
Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. postponed tariffs on up to $150 billion 
in goods from China. Industrial companies and banks are making some of the 
biggest gains and technology stocks are also climbing.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index climbed 21 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,734 
as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 299 points, 
or 1.2 percent, to 25,014. It climbed 371 points earlier. The Nasdaq composite 
gained 43 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,398. The Russell 2000 index of 
smaller-company stocks was on pace for another record close as it jumped 9 
points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,635.

   TRADE TALKS: The U.S. and China concluded two days of trade negotiations 
with an agreement not to impose tariffs on each other, while Beijing said it 
will buy more farm goods, energy and other products and services from U.S. 
companies. The two sides gave no indication of how much progress they had made 
toward ending their dispute entirely and both said hostilities could increase 
again.

   Trade disputes have occupied a lot of investors' attention for the last two 
months and stocks have rallied on signs progress was being made, only to fall 
back when the situation appeared to worsen.

   Investors applauded. Among industrials, Boeing gained 3.5 percent to $363.51 
and construction equipment maker Caterpillar rose 2.6 percent to $159.76. In 
the financial sector, JPMorgan Chase rose 1.1 percent to $112.30 and Morgan 
Stanley added 1.2 percent to $54.56.

   RIDING THE RAILS: General Electric's train engine division will combine with 
railroad equipment maker Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies in deal worth 
$11.1 billion as GE CEO John Flannery continues to break off parts of the 
conglomerate. GE will get $2.9 billion in cash and will own 50.1 percent of the 
combined company, and the deal will help it narrow its business down to the 
aviation, health care and energy industries.

   Wabtec gained 4 percent to $99 and GE rose 2.7 percent to $15.37.

   BANK ON IT: Fifth Third Bancorp is buying Chicago's MB Financial for about 
$4.7 billion, mostly in stock. The deal values MB at $54.20 per share, and its 
stock rose 13.2 percent to $49.40 while Fifth Third tumbled 7.9 percent to 
$30.92.

   GET A ROOM: Investment manager Blackstone agreed to buy LaSalle Hotel 
Properties for $33.50 a share, or $3.7 billion in cash. LaSalle jumped 5.6 
percent to $33.69 while Blackstone rose along with other financial firms and 
gained 1.9 percent to $31.89.

   CHIPS CLIMB: Chipmakers rallied after Micron Technology raised its profit 
and revenue forecasts for the fiscal third quarter. Micron jumped 4.3 percent 
to $55.66 while Intel picked up 1.6 percent to $54.34 and Lam Research added 2 
percent to $199.33.

   That contributed to a broad rally in technology stocks. Apple gained 0.9 
percent to $188 and Google's parent company Alphabet rose 1.7 percent $1,087.41 
as technology companies advanced.

   CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.05 yen from 110.68 yen late Friday. The 
euro dipped to $1.1772 from $1.1773.

   OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 1.2 percent to $72.11 a barrel in New 
York. Brent crude, used to price international oil, added 0.7 percent to $79.03 
per barrel in London.

   BONDS: Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 
to 3.07 percent from 3.06 percent.

   OVERSEAS: The British FTSE 100 gained 1 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 0.5 
percent. The German market was closed for a holiday. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 
0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent and South Korea's Kospi 
added 0.2 percent.


(BE)

 
 
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