NEW YORK: Wall Street closed higher on Monday (May 14), extending last week's gains amid signs of easing trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Investors were cheered by news President Donald Trump had offered China an olive branch in its trade dispute, vowing to ease the pain from US sanctions on Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer ZTE. But the trading session saw stocks sag as early gains eroded.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 68.24 points (0.27 per cent) to close at 24,899.41.
The S&P 500 gained 2.41 points (0.09 per cent) to 2,730.13, while Nasdaq rose 8.43 points (0.11 per cent) to finish at 7,411.32.
The signs of detente between Washington and Beijing on ZTE, however, come as other trade hazards loom. China and the United States have threatened to put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in exported goods and officials from both nations are due to continue talks in Washington this week.
Art Hogan of Wunderlich Securities told AFP that Wall Street always welcomes signs of easing trade tensions.
"Anytime you get a dent on that concern, the market seems to rally and that is helping today," he said. "Nothing concrete necessarily, but a glimmer of hope."
United Health and Walmart were the Dow's biggest gainers, adding 1.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
But optical component makers that supply ZTE saw their stocks rise even higher. Oclaro gained 2.9 per cent and Lumentum added 2.2 per cent. Aircraft giant Boeing, highly exposed to the Chinese market, added 0.6 per cent.
Elsewhere, cybersecurity firm Symantec Corp surged 9.6 per cent after telling investors it would reveal more information about a planned internal audit and take questions about its quarterly results and outlook.
Xerox fell 4.3 per cent the day after the company said it had scrapped a US$6.1 billion deal with Fujifilm Holdings.