Roundup: Wall Street rallies amid U.S.-China trade progress

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NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks extended gains on Monday as Wall Street speculated a possible deal after the latest progress on U.S.-China trade talks.

The Dow jumped as much as 209.61 points before closing 60.14 points higher, at 26,091.95.

After reaching session highs of trading above 2,800 for the first time since Nov. 8 on an intraday basis, the S&P 500 drifted lower but managed to climb 0.1 percent to 2,796.11 at the close, as gains in groups like materials and technology outweighed losses in utilities and real estate.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.36 percent to close at 7,554.46.

Shares of U.S. equipment maker Caterpillar and U.S. aircraft maker Boeing, both sensitive to global trade, rose 1.97 percent and 0.67 percent, respectively.

The move followed a solid week. The Dow and Nasdaq posted their ninth straight weekly gain last week, while the S&P 500 recorded its eighth one-week rise in nine.

Positive signs from the U.S.-China trade talks have been one of the major drives of the market rally, experts noted.

"I think the one great thing about the negotiations that have taken place between China and the United States is that they've been consistent," Mark Otto, an experienced trader at the New York Stock Exchange, told Xinhua on Monday.

"So all the time traders have information flowing to them saying that things are going positively between China and the United States, everyone wants to see a deal come out of this," said Otto, who is also a global market commentator at GTS, a leading electronic market maker across global financial instruments.

China and the United States have achieved substantial progress on specific issues following their latest round of high-level economic and trade talks in Washington, the Chinese delegation said Sunday.

During the Feb. 21-24 talks, the seventh round since February last year, Chinese and U.S. negotiators further implemented the important consensus reached by the presidents of the two countries during their December meeting in Argentina, and focused their talks on the text of an agreement.

"So certainly it's a positive for us all. We all definitely want to see a trade negotiation go through and become a deal," Otto said.

Otto's opinion on the importance of the resolution of U.S.-China trade tensions was shared by many analysts.

The market will always react to trans-continental trade, said John Monaco, a trader at Wellington Shields & Co. LLC, "if the United States and China settle the trade issues, it will be better for both economies."

Monaco said sectors such as technology, machinery and natural resources could benefit a lot from the easing of trade tensions.

However, market strategists noted that "everyone is cautiously optimistic" right now since challenges remain before striking a complete deal.

Trade issues have been a big part of market anxieties since last year.

"Though exports are only 10 percent of U.S. GDP, 43 percent of S&P 500 companies' earnings come from outside of the United States," said David Woo, a researcher at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a recent note.

So if trade tensions were to escalate, it's unlikely the United States will be able to escape the consequences, he added. Enditem

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