Stocks are finishing out a tumultuous week with a quiet session as the major averages are slightly higher heading into the afternoon ahead of the long holiday weekend. There was some easing in rhetorhic from both the U.S. and China, as President Donald Trump expressed optimism yesterday about striking a trade deal and suggested a Huawei resolution could be bundled into a final tariff compromise. Meanwhile, China's Ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, said in an interview with Bloomberg that China wants to continue working toward a trade agreement for President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to finalize, though there are no official discussions about a meeting between the two leaders.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., durable goods orders fell 2.1% in April, slightly worse than the estimated 2% decline. Excluding transportation, orders were unchanged last month. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, sometimes pointed to as a proxy for broader business investment, were down 0.9%.
In Europe, Theresa May announced she will quit as Britain's prime minister and will stand down as Conservative Party leader on June 7.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Boeing (BA) are up 2% near noon after Daniel Elwell, acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration, said an eight-hour meeting with global air regulators to talk about the grounded Boeing 737 MAX was "exceedingly positive" and "constructive", according to Reuters. FAA representatives informed members of the United Nation's aviation agency that they anticipate approval of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft to fly in the U.S. as soon as late June, reports added.
In a new twist to the ongoing trade war, China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMI) announced earlier that the company has notified the New York Stock Exchange that it will apply for the voluntary delisting of its American depositary shares, or "ADSs," from the NYSE. However, CNBC's Yun Li said the company told her the decision was due to low trading volume and high costs and "has nothing to do with the trade war and Huawei incident."
Foot Locker (FL) is down 17% after the shoe retailer missed first quarter expectations and lowered its fiscal year earnings view.
In other earnings news, HP Inc. (HPQ) shares are up nearly 5% after the printer and PC maker reported better than expected sales and earnings for its recently completed quarter. HP Enterprise (HPE) is up 2% following last night's fiscal Q2 results as its earnings were better than expected but its sales fell short of the consensus forecast.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was TSYS (TSS), which rose 14% after Bloomberg reported that Global Payments (GPN) has held deal talks about a potential merger or other types of partnership. CNBC subsequently said that Global Payments is nearing a deal to buy TSYS for about $20B in an all-stock deal expected to be announced Tuesday.
Global Payments shares were up 4% after the news.
Also higher was Hibbett Sports (HIBB), which gained 22% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Dynavax (DVAX), which slid 15% after announcing a strategic restructuring to focus on its vaccine business.
Also lower was Splunk (SPLK), which fell 8% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 64.36, or 0.25%, to 25,554.83, the Nasdaq was up 21.85, or 0.29%, to 7,650.13, and the S&P 500 was up 5.09, or 0.18%, to 2,827.33.