Wall Street gained on Thursday, with the S&P 500 snapping a five-day losing streak, amid reports that further US tariffs on Chinese imports would be paused, while solid economic data offset underwhelming earnings from Walmart Inc.
After four straight days of losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 209 points, or 0.8%, to 25,289, while the S&P 500 index climbed 29 points, or 1.1%, to 2,730. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 123 points, or 1.7%, to 7,259.
Shares reversed an early drop after the Financial Times reported that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a group of industry executives the next tranche of tariffs on Chinese imports was on hold.
Gains were paused Lighthizer’s office denied the report. But stocks resumed their upswing and rose further in the last half-hour of trading.
Shares of Apple Inc advanced 2.5% to end a five-day losing streak and help the technology sector climb 2.5%, the biggest gain among the S&P 500's major sectors.
Shares of Cisco Systems Inc rose 5.5% after the network equipment maker's quarterly revenue and earnings beat analyst estimates.
Department store operator Dillard's Inc tumbled 14.8% after third-quarter earnings missed analyst estimates. Retailer J.C. Penney Co Inc. also reported same-store sales below analyst expectations.
The gloomy Dillard's and J.C. Penney results hurt Walmart Inc shares, which fell 2.0% even though the world's largest retailer beat same-store sales estimates and raised its full-year outlook.
JP Morgan Chase added 2.6% after a public filing showed that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway took a new stake in the US’s largest bank. Shares of Oracle also climbed 3.7% on the news that Berkshire raised its stake in the firm.
In Asia, share markets traded higher on Friday in morning session despite fresh uncertainties emerging from the UK overnight after several important ministers resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May's government.
Japan's Nikkei 225 traded up 0.18% in early trade while the Topix index gained 0.23 percent. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.52%.
In Australia, the ASX 200 advanced 0.25%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.33%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.82%.