Stocks rallied to the highest level in six weeks as signs the U.S. and China are closing in on a trade truce and stronger factory numbers boosted investor confidence in the global economy. Treasuries slid and the dollar gained.
The S&P 500 Index advanced for a fourth week, the longest streak since August, as technology firms and trade-sensitive companies from Boeing to Caterpillar rose after a report by Bloomberg News said China has offered a path to eliminate its trade gap with America. Major indexes padded earlier gains fueled by the biggest increase in factory output in 10 months. Facebook pared its rise after the Washington Post said regulators discussed fining the social-media giant.
The dollar strengthened for a fourth day, while the 10-year Treasury yield reached 2.78 percent. West Texas crude pushed above $53 a barrel, and gold slid along with the Japanese yen.
“Trade has been a weight on the market for some time now, I think the good thing is it’s pretty clear the administration wants a deal,” said Andrew Kenney, the chief investment officer of Delaware Life, which manages $37 billion.
The newest signal of easing tensions followed a Wall Street Journal report Thursday, which was later denied, that offered fresh hope that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be able to de-escalate the spat. Adding to the bullish sentiment has been a slew of better-than-expected economic data this week.
Elsewhere, the pound weakened, erasing Thursday’s rally when U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that a second referendum remains an option in the Brexit saga.