landsberg bennettStocks finished higher Thursday. The Dow added 264 points to 25380 while the S&P 500 climbed 28 points to 2740. The Nasdaq Composite gained 128 points to 7434.

The major averages advanced for the third consecutive session as a promising trade update and generally positive corporate earnings boosted investor sentiment. In geopolitics, President Trump announced that he had encouraging trade discussions with Chinese President Xi ahead of their highly anticipated meeting at the G-20 summit later this month. On the data front, an update from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed manufacturing activity cooled to a six-month low in October.

Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished higher with Utilities the lone group to finish in negative territory. Materials paced gains as DowDuPont surged 8.1% to $58.27 after the chemical-maker topped earnings estimates and announced a $3 billion stock repurchase program. The Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary also outperformed as Teva Pharmaceuticals jumped 15.1% to $23.00 and Amazon advanced 4.2% to $1665.53. In other earnings, Allstate fell 6.0% to $89.97 after the insurer fell short of earnings projections amid weaker than expect sales from its homeowner’s business unit.

Breadth was positive on issues by 3:1 on the NYSE and by 7:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 4.6 billion shares.

Treasuries were little changed as the yield on the 10-year note slipped one basis point to 3.14%. In commodities, WTI crude declined 2.7% to $63.52/barrel, extending losses from October’s dismal performance, which saw oil prices fall 10.9%. COMEX gold added 1.7% to $1235.10/ounce amid a weaker dollar.