Tech stocks lift Wall Street as reports brighten hopes of trade deal

(Reuters) – Wall Street rose for the first time in three sessions on Wednesday with technology stocks providing a boost, as a report that China was open to a partial trade deal soothed investor nerves ahead of high-level talks on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Shares in Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose more than 1% and were among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 .SPX. The technology sector .SPLRCT rose 1.4%.

Chipmakers with a sizable exposure to China also gained, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index .SOX up about 2%.

China was still open to agreeing to a partial trade deal with the United States, despite the inclusion of top Chinese artificial intelligence startups in a trade blacklist, according to a Bloomberg report.

Separately, the Financial Times said Beijing was offering to increase its annual purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

“Investors are hoping for an interim deal, they aren’t expecting anything big, but are cautiously optimistic,” said Michael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group.

Trade tensions, efforts to impeach President Donald Trump and signs of slowing economic growth have taken a toll on equity markets in October, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes off about 2% since the end of September.

Rising geopolitical risks have also not offered investors any respite. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday a military operation targeting Kurdish fighters in northeast Syrian had begun.

A sharp contraction in U.S. manufacturing

Keep reading this article on Reuters Business.

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