Stocks began the day higher and didn't look back as signs pointed to progress in the trade talks being held between U.S. and Chinese representatives in Washington. Tweets from the president early in the morning gave additional credence to reports from last night and then in the afternoon it was confirmed that the U.S. had reached what is being called a "phase 1" deal with China that will now be put into writing and signed. The deal covers intellectual property, financial services and $40B-$50B in agricultural goods purchase, according to headlines breaking right before the market close. Treasury Steve Mnuchin also reportedly confirmed that the tariff hike that was threatened for next week will not go forward now that a deal has been reached.
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. In energy news, Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is up 1 rig from last week to 856, with oil rigs up 2 to 712,
In trade news, multiple reports indicated that the U.S. and China reached a partial trade agreement Friday that lays the groundwork for a broader deal that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could sign later this year.
In the U.K., the European Commission said it has agreed to "intensify" Brexit talks with Britain over the coming days.
TOP NEWS: Shares of SAP (SAP) were 9.5% higher 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.
Additionally, Bloomberg reported that Volkswagen (VWAGY) is considering options for its Lamborghini brand, including a sale or stock listing.
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 Spark Therapeutics (ONCE), which rose 3.7% after the FTC said that Bureau of Competition Director Bruce Hoffman will be leaving the agency in November after serving in the position for over two years. Investors may see the departure of Hoffman as a positive for the takeover winning approval as Hoffman likely wouldn't be leaving in the middle of a review of Spark's deal with Roche (RHHBY), according to Bloomberg's Joshua Fineman. Also higher was Fastenal (FAST), which gained 17.1% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Coeur Mining (CDE), which slid almost 9% after it reported Q3 gold production. Also lower was Invitae (NVTA), which fell 3.1% after Wolfpack Research announced a short position in the stock.
INDEXES: The Dow jumped 319.92, or 1.21%, to 26,816.59, the Nasdaq added 106.26, or 1.34%, to 8,057.04, and the S&P 500 advanced 32.14, or 1.09%, to 2,970.27.