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Stocks rally on Wall Street ahead of Trump speech on trade

By STAN CHOE, AP

NEW YORK — Stocks climbed Tuesday, and indexes rode a rising tide toward more records.

All but one of the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500 were higher in morning trading, led by health care and technology companies, and two stocks rose in the index for every one that fell. Momentum for the market has been upward for more than five weeks as worries about the U.S.-China trade war have eased, among other factors.

President Donald Trump may give more clues about how trade talks are going this afternoon, when he gives a speech at the Economic Club of New York on trade and economic policy. Uncertainty in the market has climbed after U.S. and Chinese officials gave conflicting signals last week about whether they've agreed to any tariff rollbacks as part of the "Phase One" trade agreement they're negotiating.

Besides expectations for a stopgap deal on the trade war, stocks have jumped recently due to interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, data showing the economy is still growingly solidly and corporate earnings reports for the summer that weren't as weak as expected.

The rising confidence in markets has meant fewer buyers piling into the safety of gold, which dropped Tuesday to its lowest price in more than three months.

Treasury yields were steady after trading resumed following Monday's holiday in observance of Veterans Day.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 0.4%, as of 11:40 a.m. Eastern time. Earlier, it crossed above the 3,100 level for the first time.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 46 points, or 0.2%, to 27,738, and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.5%.

YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 1.93%, the same level that it was at late Friday. It was below 1.50% in early September and has been rallying with confidence in the economy's strength.

Reports have shown that the job market is still growing, which should help households keep spending at a strong clip. Such spending makes up the bulk of the economy, and the expectation is that it can more than make up for the weakness in manufacturing that the trade war is causing.

DON'T CROSS THE STREAMS: Disney rose 1.6% on the day that its highly anticipated streaming video service, Disney Plus, launched. The service had some technical difficulties early in the morning, an indication that demand may have been higher than expected.

EARNINGS BOOST: Rockwell Automation jumped 12.9% for one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 after reporting earnings that were better than what analysts were expecting.

It's the latest company to do so. Across the S&P 500, companies are on track to report a drop of 2.4% in third-quarter earnings per share from a year before. That's not as bad as the 4% decline analysts initially expected, according to FactSet. Just over 90% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results for the summer.

COMING UP: On Wednesday the Federal Reserve's chairman, Jerome Powell, is due to give testimony to Congress about the U.S. economy. Most investors expect the Fed to keep interest rates on hold for now after cutting them three times since the summer.

This week the U.S. Labor Department will also give updates on both consumer and wholesale inflation. On Friday, economists expect a government report to show that retail sales returned to growth in October.

OVERSEAS: European and Asian markets were broadly higher. Hong Kong's market bounced back from a drop the day before, though protests continued Tuesday as police and protesters battled outside university campuses. The Hang Seng index rose 0.5%.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8%, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5% and the Shanghai composite index in China added 0.2%.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.7% in London, France's CAC 40 gained 0.6% and Germany's DAX returned 0.7%.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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