Stocks Jump as Trade Fears Ease

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are rising on Wall Street Tuesday after Chinese President Xi Jinping offered possible concessions in a trade dispute with the U.S. Xi promised to reduce China's tariffs on imported cars and to improve intellectual property protection, steps that could help the U.S. and China reduce recent tensions over trade. The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 400 points in early trading.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index surged 29 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,642 as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow gained 362 points, or 1.5 percent, to 24,341. The Nasdaq composite added 75 points, or 1.1 percent, to 7,025. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 15 points, or 1 percent, to 1,529.

Stocks were on track for an even bigger jump Monday before a late slump wiped out most of their gains. The Dow rose as much as 400 points during the day, but finished just 46 points higher.

HOPES FOR TRADE: Speaking at a business conference, Xi made no direct mention of the trade dispute with the U.S., but promised changes in areas that the U.S. has identified as priorities. In addition to intellectual property protections and auto tariffs, he discussed opening China's banking industry and increasing its imports. He didn't address other thorny topics including requirements for foreign companies to give technology to potential local competitors.

General Motors rose 73 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $38.56 and Ford rose 26 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $11.51. Tesla climbed $9.16, or 3.2 percent, to $298.82.

Among banks, JPMorgan Chase gained $1.64, or 1.5 percent, to $112.04. Citigroup picked up $1.54, or 2.2 percent, to $70.98.

LEADERS: Technology and industrial companies have made some of the biggest swings on the market during the trade spat. If the U.S. and China both place tariffs on imports from the other, industrials face greater costs as well as with lower sales. Technology companies might face manufacturing changes and slower growth in the global economy.

Apple climbed $3.10, or 1.8 percent, to $173.15 and chipmaker Nvidia rose $9.06, or 4.2 percent, to $224.47. Texas Instruments gained $1.89, or 1.9 percent, to $101.70.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.47, or 2.3 percent, to $64.89 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added $1.34, or 2 percent, to $69.99 a barrel in London. Oil prices have bounced up and down recently as investors wonder if the trade dispute will hamper global economic growth.

Exxon Mobil added $2.11, or 2.8 percent, to $76.98 and Marathon Oil jumped 56 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $16.91.

OVERSEAS: The French CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent while Germany's DAX added 0.7 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 gained 0.6 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.7 percent.

GOING PRIVATE: VeriFone Systems surged after it agreed to be bought by Francisco Partners and British Columbia Investment Group. The investment group will pay $23.04 a share, or $2.54 billion, for VeriFone, which makes terminals for electronic payments. VeriFone stock climbed $7.76, or 51.7 percent, to $22.76.

PRICES PICK UP: U.S. wholesale prices increased 0.3 percent in March, another sign that inflation is starting to rise a bit faster. Excluding a big jump in food prices and a drop in gasoline prices, core inflation rose 0.3 percent. The Labor Department's Producer Price Index measures prices before they reach consumers, and over the past 12 months it's risen 3 percent.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.78 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar 106.97 yen from 106.78 yen. The euro rose to $1.2364 from $1.2322.

(BE)