Investing.com - Wall Street clawed back from early weakness Thursday, snapping a four-day losing streak, as renewed optimism on trade encouraged traders to resume bullish bets on stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 0.83%. The S&P 500 rose 1.06%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.72%.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told some industry executives that the United States would hold off launching planned tariffs on China, the Financial Times reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the situation.
Lighthizer, however, denied the report, insisting that plans to launch the tariffs outlined in September "has not changed at all."
Still, the report fuelled expectations that both the U.S. and China would seek to deescalate tensions at the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina, triggering a rally in trade-sensitive stocks and lifting the broader market.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), whose shares have been directed by trade rhetoric, rose more than 3%, pushing the industrials to a 1% gain for the day.
Beyond trade, tech stocks led the rebound on Wall Street as bargain-hunting investors piled into beaten-down names like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), while a rally in semiconductors also lifted sentiment.
Energy names were also in favor as oil prices continued their rebound from a day earlier despite a large build in crude inventories.
U.S. corporates, meanwhile, continued to serve up upbeat earnings, but were greeted with mixed reaction from investors.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) topped earnings estimates and raised its full-year estimates for earnings per share and comparable store sales. Its shares struggled to hold onto early gains, falling 2%, with some blaming the weakness on concerns over valuation.
Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) rose 5.5% after reporting fiscal first-quarter earnings Wednesday that topped expectations.
Homebuilders struggled to participate in the rally, keeping gains the broader averages in check, after KB Home (NYSE:KBH) plunged after slashing its full-year guidance in the wake of an ongoing slump in the housing market. Its shares fell 15%.
On the economic front, investors cheered signs of ongoing consumer strength, which has underpinned strong quarterly U.S. economic growth so far this year, as data showing consumers continued to splurge boosting retail sales.
The Commerce Department said on Thursday that core retail sales rose0.7% last month, above economists’ forecast for a 0.5% increase.
Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:
Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET), Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co (NYSE:PCG), Edison International (NYSE:EIX) and NetApp Inc (NASDAQ:NTAP) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.