Stocks have been boosted from the outset of trading after President Trump said the first day of face-to-face trade talks with Chinese delegates was "very, very good," a White House official cited by Reuters said the talks were "probably better than expected" and a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said the two sides were on track to make a currency agreement as soon today. Adding further fuel to the trade optimism were a pair of tweets from the president this morning, in which he confirmed he will be meeting with China's Vice Premier today and said that not having to go through the "very long and politically complex" congressional approval process is "one of the great things about the China Deal." Barring some late day disappointment from Washington, the market looks set to end the week on a high note as earnings season gets ready to begin.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., import prices rose 0.2% in September, while export prices fell 0.2%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment preliminary reading for October climbed to 96.0 from a 93.2 reading in September, which was better than expected.
TOP NEWS: Shares of SAP (SAP) were 10% higher in New York after the company announced that CEO Bill McDermott is stepping down from his role as head of the company. In activating the company's long-term succession plan, SAP named executive board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein co-CEOs, effective immediately. Meanwhile, SAP also pre-announced third quarter results and maintained its revenue guidance for fiscal 2019.
Ford (F) was in focus after the carmaker announced Q3 sales in China of 131,060 vehicles, a 30.3% decrease compared to the same period last year. China automotive industry sales slowed during the third quarter following an elevated second quarter sales period, primarily driven by China V Emission Standard stock clearance actions, the company said.
In other auto news, Renault's (RNSDF) board of directors decided to end the mandate of Thierry Bollore as CEO of the French car maker with immediate effect. The board named Clotilde Delbos as interim CEO of the company.
Meanwhile, the board of directors of IAC (IAC) disclosed that they submitted a preliminary proposal for a transaction that would result in the full separation of Match Group (MTCH) from the remaining businesses of IAC. The proposed move would result in two independent public companies, referred to as "New Match" and "New IAC," according to a filing. IAC added in a filing with the SEC that it does not currently intend to pursue a separation from its interest in Angi Homeservices (ANGI).
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Synthesis Energy (SES), which surged 83% following an agreement whereby Australian Future Energy will merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of SES to become a wholly owned subsidiary of SES. SES currently holds approximately 35% of the issued capital of AFE. Also higher was Fastenal (FAST), which gained 17% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Coeur Mining (CDE), which slid 6% after it reported Q3 gold production. Also lower was Crowdstrike (CRWD), which fell 4% after Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini downgraded shares to Sell from Neutral with a price target of $66, down from $83.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 383.23, or 1.45%, to 26,879.90
, the Nasdaq was up 130.47, or 1.64%, to 8,081.25
, and the S&P 500 was up 42.52, or 1.45%, to 2,980.65