U.S.-China Trade Talk Progress Lifts Stock ETFs to Record Highs | ETF Trends

U.S. markets and stock ETFs rallied Thursday as investors gained confidence on signs of progress in the U.S.-China trade talks.

On Thursday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 0.7%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) gained 1.0%, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) rose 0.5%.

All three major benchmarks were trading at record highs on a resilient U.S. jobs market, hopes that the U.S.-China trade deal is progressing and upbeat corporate earnings, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The economy is solid, with no sign of inflation, and geopolitical issues seem like they may be improving,” Dan Miller, director of equities at GW&K Investment Management, told the WSJ. “It just feels like everything is moving in the right direction.”

Roll back of Tariffs

In the latest trade updates, China and the U.S. have agreed to roll back tariffs at the same time and by the same amount when they sign the initial deal. A Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman described recent talks as “careful and constructive.”

“A reduction in tariffs is a positive for the overall market,” Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC, told Reuters. “Trade right now looks like the one thing that can push the markets higher at this point, because we have got through earnings and most of the heavy hitting economic data points for the month.”

Investors shifted away from defensive and safe plays in favor of cyclical sectors with greater global exposures.

“People are moving back to the value camp. Technology stocks and companies like 3M, which have a lot of international exposure and are cyclically dependent are going to be getting the most attention today,” Pavlik added.

The stronger than expected corporate earnings season has also supported recent gains. Of the 430 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings through Thursday, almost three-quarters have beaten expectations, according to Refinitiv.

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