The Dow jumped more than 600 points Monday after its worst week in two years. The Nasdaq gained almost 3% and the S&P 500 climbed more than 2%.
The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that the United States and China started quietly negotiating to expand US companies’ access to Chinese markets. The Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was weighing a trip to Beijing to pursue the negotiations.
A Treasury Department spokesperson declined to confirm the report.
“We’re not afraid of a trade war, but that’s not our objective,” Mnuchin said in an interview Sunday on Fox News. “We are going to proceed with our tariffs … we’re also working on investment restrictions,” Mnuchin said. “But we are simultaneously having negotiations with the Chinese to see if we can reach an agreement.”
Investors were encouraged by the discussions between the world’s two largest economies. Stocks took a beating last week after President Trump announced plans to impose new tariffs on about $50 billion of Chinese goods in retaliation for alleged Chinese intellectual property theft.
The Dow plummeted more than 1,100 points on Thursday and Friday, slipping into a correction — a decline of 10% from the index’s all-time high in January. The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq suffered their biggest weekly losses since January 2016.
China also hit back on Trump’s earlier aluminum and steel tariffs by imposing their own tariffs on about $3 billion worth of imports of US goods, including pork, fruit and wine.
“The market thinks the tariffs are a trading tactic rather than a hardcore stance,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.
The “trade tiff” failed to dent the strong global economic outlook, Stovall said. “A sharp V recovery may not be all that surprising.”
Twenty-nine of 30 companies on the Dow gained Monday. Microsoft led the way, gaining close to 6%.
The bond market also got a boost from the cool down between the United States and China.
The 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 2.83%. Last week, the 10-year yield fell sharply to 2.81% last week as investors sought safe haven from volatile stocks. Yields move opposite to prices.
(©2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved. By Nathaniel Meyersohn)