Investing.com – Wall Street surged to record highs on Thursday, as investor sentiment was boosted by reports of progress on the U.S-China trade war.
The Dow was up 217 points, or 0.8%, by 9:41 AM ET (13:41 GMT), while the S&P 500 gained 18 points, or 0.6%, and the Nasdaq composite rose 49 points or 0.6%.
Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Feng said Beijing and Washington have agreed to phase out tariffs imposed during their 16-month-long trade war. Canceling tariffs is vital to the phase one trade agreement, which both sides have agreed to do as negotiation progress is made, he added.
The two sides are working toward signing a deal this month but have yet to decide on a location for U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet
"This is fueling optimism that a trade deal will be solidified at some point," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
"It removes a veil of uncertainty and gives the market a green light for a risk-on path."
Upbeat earnings were also supporting equity momentum, with nearly three-quarters of the 383 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far beating profit expectations, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) gained 7% after its earnings came in better than expected, while Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) surged 11% after topping forecasts due to stronger demand for its products in China and Europe.
Elsewhere, Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) plunged 19% after reporting gross bookings came in shy of forecasts, while Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) stock tumbled 16.7% despite beating on the top and bottom lines, as losses were higher compared to the year earlier and it spent more on acquiring new users.
In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% to 97.855 and gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,487.45 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures gained 1.9% to $57.41 a barrel.
-Reuters contributed to this report