Stocks move broadly higher on trade talk optimism

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2019, file photo specialist Michael Gagliano works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 10.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Thursday as investors wait to see whether the U.S. and China make any progress in negotiations aimed at ending their ongoing trade war.

The markets were encouraged by an early tweet from President Donald Trump saying that China wants to make a deal, though he did not say whether he was also willing to come to an agreement.

Envoys from each nation start their 13th round of trade negotiations Thursday since the feud started 15 months ago. Markets have been jittery all week as investors continue to assess the potential for a deal amid the latest escalation from the U.S. and China's recent rifts with the NBA and U.S. companies over free-speech issues.

Apple and Microsoft led the technology sector higher. The sector is particularly sensitive to any news coming out of trade negotiations because many of the companies rely on China for sales growth and supply chains.

Bank of America rose 1.6% and led bank stocks higher. The sector benefited rising bond yields on a report showing inflation was muted in September. Higher yields allow banks to charge more lucrative interest on loans.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.63% from 1.58% late Wednesday.

Energy companies benefited from a rise in crude oil prices.

Investors backed away from safe-play sectors in another sign that they were feeling optimistic about economic growth. Utilities and real estate companies fell.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 0.6% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 157 points, or 0.6%, to 26,501. The Nasdaq rose 0.7%.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe edged lower. Britain said that economic growth held up in the three months through August and it will avoid running into a recession in the run-up to its exit from the European Union. Economic growth remains a concern and top European Central Bank officials are united over the need for more economic stimulus, according to the written account of their last meeting.

Asian markets were mixed as the U.S. and China head into a new round of trade negotiations.

FRESH SHEETS: Bed Bath & Beyond surged 27% after the struggling home goods chain named Target's former chief merchandising officer to be its new CEO and president. Mark Tritton, a 30-year-retail industry veteran, will assume the top role on Nov. 4 and succeed interim CEO Mary A. Winston.

GROUNDED: Delta Air Lines fell 4.1% after the company gave investors a weak profit forecast for the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter is among the busiest for U.S. airlines because of holiday travelers.

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