Stocks rise in volatile trading as trade talks begin, Amazon shares gain; Europe stocks close lower as US-China trade talks begin; Centrica down 4%
Stocks rose in choppy trading on Monday as investors pored through the latest U.S.-China trade developments and equities added to a massive rally in the prior trading session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 98.18 points to 23,531.35 after briefly falling 131.57 points. At is high of the day, the 30-stock Dow rose 254.58 points. The S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent to close at 2,549.69, led by a 2.36 percent gain in the consumer discretionary sector. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.26 percent to 6,823.47, posting its seventh positive session in eight, as Amazon shares rose more than 3 percent. On Friday, the major indexes all surged more than 3 percent after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would be “flexible” in its approach to monetary policy. Stronger-than-expected employment data also contributed to Friday’s sharp gains.
Amazon shares rose after Pivotal Research Group initiated the company with a buy rating. The research firm said Amazon’s opportunities this year are “mostly unconstrained,” adding the stock could surge 20 percent.
Stocks in Europe closed lower on Monday, erasing earlier gains seen on the back of trade talks between the U.S. and China. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.3 percent, with sectors pointing in different directions. Technology was the best performer, up 1.5 percent, while the worst performing sector was household goods, which shed 1.1 percent. Concerns over economic growth, Brexit and the U.S. government shutdown were seen curbing investor sentiment.
Centrica ended the session as the third-worst performing company, down by more than 4 percent, as Jefferies said the owner of British Gas will likely see earnings come under pressure this year. Heineken dropped 2.5 percent following news that Goldman Sachs had downgraded the stock to a "sell" rating.