Investing.com – Wall Street rose on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump said that a deal with China is “potentially very close,” even though the week's news flow has often suggested the opposite.
The Dow was up 59 points or 0.2% by 9:49 AM ET (13:49 GMT), while the S&P 500 inched up 6 points or 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite gained 19 points or 0.2%.
Trump’s comments, made on Fox News, followed a carefully hedged speech from Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier in the day, who again pressed for a roll-back of U.S. tariffs on imports from China as a precondition for a 'phase-1' trade deal.
Trump indicated he saw the bill passed this week by the Senate, tying Chinese trade preferences to its respect for Hong Kong's political autonomy, as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations.
"We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi [Jinping], he’s a friend of mine," Trump said. "He’s an incredible guy, but we have to stand…I’d like to see them work it out, ok?”
Doubts over whether a trade deal will be reached by the end of the year have risen this week as China reacted angrily to the passage of the Hong Kong bill in Congress.
"It's less likely the deal will be signed by the end of this year, but you may see the Dec. 15 tariffs postponed," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) was among the top gainers after the morning bell, rising 8.9% after the retailer beat its top- and bottom-line forecasts and raised its 2019 guidance. Uber (NYSE:UBER) rose 0.7%, while Boeing (NYSE:BA) inched up 0.6% and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) gained 0.4%.
Elsewhere, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) slumped 5.8% over criticism of its “Cybertruck,” whose 'unbreakable' windows were smashed during a preview presentation. Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) fell 7.4% despite posting strong earnings, after executives reportedly expressed caution about the outlook for the current quarter.
Pure Storage (NYSE:PSTG) tumbled 19.6% after the data-storage company posted disappointing results and lowered its full-year forecast.
In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% to 98.015 and gold futures gained 0.2% to $1,465.85 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures fell 0.5% to $58.30 a barrel.
-Reuters contributed to this report