The major domestic equity indexes reclaimed some of the ground lost in the prior day’s steep sell-off, with tariff-sensitive technology stocks leading the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher due to what was perceived to be a tonal shift in U.S.-China trade rhetoric.
All three indexes closed in the black, although they pared gains late in the day and clawed back less than half of Monday’s losses, which were the largest one-day percentage drops in months. The bellwether S&P 500 remains nearly 4% below its all-time high reached two weeks ago.
Investors’ nerves were calmed after Trump referred to the escalating trade war with China as “a little squabble,” and added, “We have a good dialogue going.”
Beijing echoed that sentiment. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters: “My understanding is that China and the United States have agreed to continue pursuing relevant discussions.”
Boeing Co provided the largest increase to the Dow, rising 1.7% as tariff-vulnerable industrials buoyed the blue-chip index.
Ralph Lauren fell 3.7% after the apparel company posted quarterly results that included disappointing North American sales.
Uber Technologies and ride-hailing rival Lyft Inc reversed course after their post-debut slides. Their stocks advanced 7.7% and 4.9%, respectively.
Uber’s shares rose another 6.4 percent in after-the bell trading after the Labor Department concluded that the company’s drivers were independent contractors, not employees.
Walt Disney said it would take control of Comcast’s Hulu in a move to challenge Netflix and others in the global video streaming war. Disney closed out the trading day up 1.4%, while Comcast gained 1.5%. Netflix edged up 0.1%.
Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, all but utilities closed in the black. Technology stocks posted the largest percentage gains, climbing 1.6%.
Chip manufacturers enjoyed a reprieve, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index rising 2.4% after suffering its worst one-day percentage loss since Jan. 3.
The first-quarter earnings season is winding down, with 453 of the S&P 500 companies having reported. Of those, 75.3% exceeded analyst expectations, slightly below the 76% we saw in the last four quarters.
Approximately 6.62 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 7.01 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.