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Wall Street gains on hopes of trade truce, Powell’s speech in focus

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(Reuters) – U.S. stocks gained on Wednesday on hopes of a trade truce between the United States and China at the upcoming G20 Summit, while investors looked forward to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech for clues on the path of interest rate hikes.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Though President Donald Trump talked tough ahead of a high-stakes upcoming meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday held open the possibility that the two countries would reach a trade deal.

Industrial stocks .SPLRCI, which have borne the brunt of the protracted trade war, rose 0.16 percent, helped by Boeing’s 1.9 percent jump and Caterpillar 0.4 percent rise.

“Trade has been an issue for a long time and any hint that the China-U.S. trade dispute could be resolved could make a pick up in global growth,” said Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Powell is set to speak on “The Federal Reserve’s Framework for Monitoring Financial Stability” before the Economic Club of New York Signature Luncheon at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Powell has been criticized by Trump for interest rate increases and other Fed policies. His speech will be parsed for signs of rate hikes next year, especially after Fed officials cautioned over global growth outlook and markets witnessed about two months of volatility.

“There’s a lot of chatter that the Federal Reserve may reduce the amount of anticipated rate hikes in the future, and perhaps sell-off some of their balance sheet and that is helping out markets,” Forrest said.

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At 10:07 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 147.53 points, or 0.60 percent, at 24,896.26, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 9.80 points, or 0.37 percent, at 2,691.97 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 43.57 points, or 0.62 percent, at 7,126.27.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology sector’s .SPLRCT 0.96 percent rise leading the gains.

The highly-valued group was helped by Salesforce.com Inc’s (CRM.N) robust quarterly earnings report, a rise in chip stocks, the “FAANG” group and U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies.

Salesforce (CRM.N) jumped 4.9 percent and led the gains on the benchmark S&P 500 index.

Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) plunged 9.6 percent after the high-end jeweler’s quarterly same-store sales missed estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.35-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.58-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded six new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 11 new highs and 55 new lows.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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