Stocks were higher throughout today's trading after China's Vice Premier Liu He made some positive comments over the weekend about "substantial progress" made with the U.S. in laying the groundwork for a phase-one trade deal. Outside of trade, earnings remain front and center as the pace of reports will pick-up considerably in what will be one of the busiest weeks of the season in terms of updates from S&P 500 members.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was released. In trade news, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that a potential trade deal with China is coming along great, according to Reuters.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Boeing (BA) were 3.8% lower following Friday’s revelations of 2016 emails which called into question the safety of the 737 MAX jet's flight control system. The emerging disclosures, and FAA push back, led to the stock being downgraded this morning to Neutral ratings at UBS, Credit Suisse and Baird. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the head of Europe's flight regulator, the EASA, said the agency expects to approve the grounded 737 MAX aircraft to return to service in January at the earliest. Reuters also reported separately that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told employees in an email that the company is making "steady progress" towards lifting the global safety ban of the 737 MAX.
AmerisourceBergen (ABC), Cardinal Health (CAH) and McKesson (MCK) announced that they have agreed to a $215M settlement with two Ohio counties, Cuyahoga and Summit, in the first track of the multi-district opioid litigation. With this settlement agreed upon, the companies and the other parties will now continue the work toward a global resolution, the drug distributors stated. Teva (TEVA) later confirmed opioid settlement agreements with both Cuyahoga and Summit counties of Ohio, saying the settlements resolve the counties' claims and removes the company from the Track 1 opioid litigation. The company also said it has an agreement in principle with a group of attorneys general from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, as well as certain defendants, for a global settlement framework. CNBC's Meg Tirrell later tweeted that attorneys for the plaintiff municipalities said they are not on board with Teva's framework for the agreement in principle.
In M&A news, Innophos Holdings (IPHS) announced an affiliate of One Rock Capital Partners will acquire the company for $32.00 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $932M, including the assumption of debt. Additionally, Coty (COTY) announced it is launching a process to explore strategic alternatives for its Professional Beauty business and associated hair brands, as well as the company's Brazilian operations.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Yandex (YNDX), which rose over 10% after reports said that the Russian government is now considering placing a 50%-minus-one cap on the number of shares that can be held by non-Russian investors in strategically important tech firms, according to The Moscow Times. Also higher was PetMed Express (PETS), which gained 33.7% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Infosys (INFY), which slid fractionally after the company disclosed that it received "anonymous whistleblower complaints alleging certain unethical practices." Also lower was Peloton (PTON), which fell 5.4% despite Wall Street analysts being nearly unanimous in assigning buy-equivalent ratings as they started coverage of the stock after the company's post-IPO quiet period came to an end.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 57.44, or 0.21%, to 26,827.64, the Nasdaq gained 73.44, or 0.91%, to 8,162.99, and the S&P 500 advanced 20.52, or 0.69%, to 3,006.72.