Wall Street gains as trade fears ease, oil prices jump

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(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday after the Trump administration eased its stance on curbing Chinese investments in American technologies and as oil prices surged.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

President Donald Trump said he will use a strengthened national security review panel — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) — to deal with potential threats from Chinese acquisition of U.S. technology, instead of imposing China-specific restrictions.

“Today’s development was a positive one,” said Emily Roland, head of capital markets research at John Hancock Investments in Boston. “It looks like Trump may dial back plans to impose restrictions on China.”

The S&P 500 .SPX tumbled as much as 2 percent on Monday after reports that the U.S. Treasury Department was drafting curbs that would block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying U.S. tech firms.

The S&P industrial sector .SPLRCI jumped 0.78 percent on Wednesday, with Boeing (BA.N) and Caterpillar (CAT.N), both of which are highly reliant on China for revenue, rising about 2 percent.

The S&P energy index .SPNY was up 1.9 percent, the most among the 11 major sectors and on pace for its best day in nearly a month, as oil prices jumped nearly 3 percent after plunging U.S. crude stockpiles compounded supply concerns.

At 11:18 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 193.41 points, or 0.80 percent, at 24,476.52, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 13.88 points, or 0.51 percent, at 2,736.94 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 14.36 points, or 0.19 percent, at 7,575.99.

Among stocks, General Electric (GE.N) gained about 4 percent, riding the optimism from the industrial conglomerates’ restructuring plans announced on Tuesday.

Conagra (CAG.N) dropped 7.1 percent after the company said it would buy Pinnacle Foods (PF.N) for about $8.1 billion in cash and stock. Pinnacle Foods fell 4.1 percent after the widely anticipated deal announcement.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.21-to-1 ratio on the NYSE, while, on the Nasdaq, declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.67-to-1 ratio.

The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and nine new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 43 new highs and 40 new lows.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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