Wall Street advances on trade optimism; Nvidia, Facebook lag

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow Industrials rose on Friday after President Donald Trump said the United States may not have to impose further tariffs on Chinese goods.

All three indexes had been lower in early trade as an underwhelming earnings outlook from Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) weighed on chipmaker stocks and shares of Facebook Inc (FB.O) extended their slide following reports critical of the company’s response to Russian propaganda on its social network.

U.S. stocks moved higher, however, after President Donald Trump said China seemed willing to make a deal on trade and that the United States may not have to impose further tariffs on the Chinese goods.

“We caught a little bit of a rally on the president’s quotes on the upcoming meeting with China,” said Mark Kepner, equity trader at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

But lagging Nvidia and Facebook shares capped the Nasdaq’s gains.

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Nvidia tumbled 18.8 percent after the chipmaker pointed to the decline in cryptocurrency mining as the cause of its declining sales. The chipmaker’s shares also weighed on the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index .SOX, which declined 0.8 percent.

Facebook shares dropped 2.8 percent upon renewed concerns that the company could face regulatory scrutiny following a New York Times report on Wednesday about the company’s attempts to deflect criticism.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 163.82 points, or 0.65 percent, to 25,453.09, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 12.21 points, or 0.45 percent, to 2,742.41 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 10.08 points, or 0.14 percent, to 7,269.11.

S&P 500 energy .SPNY stocks rose 1.3 percent as oil prices recovered from sharp losses this week on expectations that OPEC and its allies would agree to cut output next month.

S&P 500 utility stocks also jumped, advancing 1.4 percent, as PG&E Corp (PCG.N) shares surged 38.8 percent. Statements from the California Public Utilities Commission raised hopes that the embattled utility company could be spared from bankruptcy if it were found liable for the state’s deadliest-ever wildfire.

Consumer discretionary stocks, however, fell 0.4 percent. Continuing a gloomy week for retailers, shares of department store operator Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) tumbled 13.9 percent after quarterly same-store sales missed estimates and the company reported charges from a credit card problem.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.19-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.04-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 26 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 22 new highs and 102 new lows.

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