Stocks Fluctuate Amid Optimism Over U.S.-China Trade Relations

Stocks were mixed Tuesday after officials in the U.S. and China reaffirmed their commitment to the phase one trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65 points, or 0.23%, to 28,373, the S&P 500 gained 0.17% and set an intraday high, and the Nasdaq slipped 0.11%.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke for the first time since early May amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over such matters as Hong Kong, tech security and the coronavirus pandemic. The parties originally had been scheduled to speak Aug. 15 as part of a six-month review since the agreement went into effect in mid-February.

“Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement,” the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement.

Stocks rose Monday on hopes that progress was being made in the development of a Covid-19 treatment and vaccine.

U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca  (AZN) – Get Report said Tuesday it has begun testing an antibody treatment for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The Dow on Monday rose 378 points, or 1.4%, to 28,308.46, and the S&P 500 jumped 1% to 3,431, adding to its all-time high set last week. The Nasdaq also closed at a record high of 11,379.

Global oil prices were mixed, with U.S. crude holding steady despite about 80% of Gulf-region output coming offline ahead of a pair of tropical storms set to hit the area over the next 24 hours.

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