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Stocks End Higher as China Exempts Some US Goods From Higher Tariffs

Equities ended higher Wednesday after China announced it would grant exemptions to some of the additional tariffs it applied to US goods last year as the two countries are set to return to trade negotiations.

CNBC reported that China’s finance ministry said it would exempt 16 types of American goods from additional tariffs, including pharmaceuticals, ingredients for livestock feed, and lubricating oil.

President Donald Trump praised the moves, telling reporters that they “were pretty good,” Reuters reported.

Ten of the 11 sectors of the Standard & Poor’s 500 ended higher, as health care and tech rose more than 1%, while industrials and materials each rose almost 1%.

Health-care blue chips Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) ended 1.5% and 1.3% higher, respectively.

Apple (APPL) gained 3.2%, the day after it announced new iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad models, in addition to disclosing pricing information on its upcoming Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade services. Intel (INTC) firmed 1.9% while Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) popped 4%.

Trade-sensitive Boeing (BA) rose 3.6%, and Caterpillar (CAT) advanced 2.2%. United Technologies (UTX) added 1.5%.

Dow (DOW) added 1.2% to lead materials higher. Newmont Goldcorp (NEM) gained 1.8% while Nucor (NUE) rose 1.2%.

Energy shares edged up as oil-futures fell on a Bloomberg report that Trump is considering easing sanctions on Iran, a day after the departure of John Bolton, the hawkish former national security adviser.

West Texas Intermediate oil futures fell more than 2.5% to $55.96 a barrel while international benchmark Brent fell 2.2% to $61.01.

ConocoPhillips (COP) rose 1.6% and Apache (APA) gained 1.2%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose almost 0.9%, and the S&P 500 added more than 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite gained almost 1.1%.

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