US stocks advanced on Wednesday, though well below their session highs, after a series of developments boosted hopes about US-China trade relations and the British prime minister defeated a challenge to her leadership.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 157 points, or 0.6%, to end at 24,527, while the S&P 500 index advanced 14 points, or 0.5%, to 2,651. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 66 points, or 1%, to 7,098. The Dow was up more than 450 points at its session high.
US President Donald Trump, in an interview with Reuters, said trade talks were under way with China. He also said that he would intervene in a case against a top executive at Huawei Technologies if it would help secure a trade deal.
Traders said China made the first major purchase of US soybeans since Washington and Beijing agreed to a temporary trade truce earlier this month.
Among individual stocks, Under Armour Inc. slumped 8.9% to lead S&P 500 decliners after disappointing analysts at an investor day with guidance for coming years.
United Rentals Inc. was up 6.3% after it reaffirmed its 2018 guidance and issued its 2019 outlook.
Shares of Lowe’s Cos. added 2.9% after the company announced a new $10 billion stock buyback program and reaffirmed its fiscal 2018 earnings and sales targets.
Verizon Communications Inc. fell 2.7% after Morgan Stanley analyst Simon Flannery downgraded the stock to equal-weight from overweight.
US-listed shares of Tencent Music Entertainment Group jumped 7.7% on their first day of trading.
In Asia, shares mostly gained on Thursday in morning session, building on the momentum seen on Wall Street overnight.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was higher by about 0.9%, while the Shanghai composite was up 0.25%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.77% and the Topix index was 0.54% higher. Over in South Korea, the Kospi was 0.32% higher. Australia’s ASX 200 index inched up 0.31% as the heavily weighted financials sub-index was 0.82% higher.