Stocks Veer Back Upward

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock markets around the world jumped Tuesday on hopes that trade tensions between the world's largest economies may ease after U.S. and Chinese officials spoke on the phone.

The S&P 500 index jumped more than 1 percent at the start of trading, following even bigger gains in Europe. It's the latest big swing for stocks, which have been mostly falling since late September on worries about the global trade war, rising interest rates and a slowing economy.

But even within a single day, stocks have changed direction sharply in recent weeks.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 31 points, or 1.2 percent, at 2,669 as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern time.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 263, or 1.1 percent, to 24,687, and the Nasdaq composite rose 95, or 1.4 percent, to 7,116.

U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He have spoken by phone about "the promotion of the next economic and trade consultations," a statement by China's Commerce Ministry said Tuesday. It did not elaborate.

That raised hopes that the two countries can make progress on their trade dispute. Investors worry weaker global trade would dent economic growth around the world and corporate profits. The tensions have waxed and waned repeatedly this year, which has helped make the stock market particularly volatile recently.

Another flashpoint for the two countries is the detention of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, in Canada. Meng is wanted in the U.S. for allegedly misleading banks about the company's business dealings in Iran. China has protested her arrest.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "We're now seeing daily commentary it seems about the progress of talks between the U.S. and China but the reality is that this is going to be a process that moves at a glacial pace but the fact that talks are happening are a reason to be optimistic," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

BREXIT AND THE POUND: A day after the pound tanked to 20-month lows against the dollar after British Prime Minister Theresa May pulled a vote on her Brexit deal with the European Union, the currency recovered somewhat after figures showed wages rising at their fastest rate in a decade. The pound rose to $1.2570 from $1.2557 late Monday.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 2.3 percent, and France's CAC 40 was up 2.2. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 1.8 percent.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent, South Korea's Kospi fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,052.97 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.1 percent.

YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.86 percent from 2.85 percent late Monday, while the two-year yield held steady at 2.73 percent. The gap between those two yields has been shrinking this year, which has worried some investors. When the 10-year yield falls below the two-year yield, investors call it an "inverted yield curve" and see it as a precursor to a recession.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1.14, or 2.2 percent, to $52.14 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 88 cents to $60.85.

Gold rose $2.60 to $1,252.00 per ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.30 Japanese yen from 113.21 yen late Monday. The euro slipped to $1.3333 from $1.1353.

(BE)