Stocks finished higher Thursday. The Dow added 91 points to 25,717 while the S&P 500 gained 10 points to 2,815. The Nasdaq Composite was up 25 points to 7,669.
The major averages posted modest gains as investors digested the latest trade reports. An update this morning indicated that the U.S. and China had made significant progress in all areas amid high level negotiations. An additional release suggested Chinese leaders are willing to increase market access to foreign financial institutions. On the data front, the final reading of fourth-quarter GDP was downwardly revised from 2.6% to 2.2%, which matched consensus estimates. Additional surveys showed initial jobless claims ticked down to 211,000 in the most recent week while pending home sales slipped 1.0% in February.
Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished higher with Utilities and Communication Services the laggards. The Industrial and Materials groups paced gains in sympathy with the positive trade updates. Financials also posted solid gains as treasury yields rebounded from multi-year lows. In earnings news, PVH Corp jumped 14.8% to $127.26 and Lululemon climbed 14.1% to $167.54 after both apparel makers bested analyst earnings projections.
Breadth was positive on issues by 2:1 on the NYSE and by 9:5 on the NASDAQ. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.0 billion shares.
Treasury prices fell from 15-month highs as the yield on the 10-year note ended the session unchanged at 2.38%, after trading as low as 2.34% overnight. In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude was little changed at $59.39/barrel. COMEX gold eased 1.5% to $1,290.60/ounce amid a stronger dollar.