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U.S. Stocks Reach Best Levels In Over A Month, S&P 500 Back Above 3,000

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After moving modestly higher early in the session, stocks saw further upside over the course of the trading day on Wednesday. With the advance on the day, the major averages ended the session at their best closing levels in over a month.

The major averages reached new highs going into the close, ending the session at their best levels of the day. The Dow advanced 227.61 points or 0.9 percent to 27,137.04, the Nasdaq jumped 85.52 points or 1.1 percent to 8,169.68 and the S&P 500 climbed 21.54 points or 0.7 percent to 3,000.93.

The strength on Wall Street came following news that China is granting tariff exemptions for 16 types of American-made products as a sign of goodwill ahead of the next round of trade talks.

The list included varieties of animal feed such as alfalfa and fish meal, cancer drugs gefitinib and capecitabine, base oil for lubricants and lubricating grease, and some farm chemicals.

The Chinese Customs Tariff Commission said the tariff suspension would take effect next Tuesday and remain in place for a year.

Stocks also benefited from optimism about new global stimulus ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision on Thursday as well as next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

In a post on Twitter this morning, President Donald Trump urged the Fed to lowest interest rates to zero or less, allowing the U.S. to refinance its debt.

"INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term. We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet," Trump tweeted.

"The USA should always be paying the lowest rate. No Inflation!" he added. "It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn't allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of 'Boneheads.'"

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest uptick in producer prices in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1 percent in August after rising by 0.2 percent in July. Economists had expected prices to come in unchanged.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices rose by 0.3 percent in August after edging down by 0.1 percent in July. Core prices had been expected to increase by 0.2 percent.

Sector News

Computer hardware stocks showed a substantial move to the upside over the course of the trading session, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 2.3 percent to its best closing level in a year.

Significant strength also emerged among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2.3 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Networking Index. The index ended the session at a one-month closing high.

Steel stocks also turned in a particularly strong performance on the day, resulting in a 2 percent advance by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Telecom, brokerage, and housing stocks also saw considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday, although Chinese stocks bucked the uptrend. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.8 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index shot up by 1 percent, German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries extended the downward trend seen over the past several sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 3.1 basis points to 1.733 percent.

Looking Ahead

The ECB's monetary policy decision is likely to be in focus on Thursday, potentially overshadowing reports on consumer prices and weekly jobless claims.

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