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MarketWatch MarketPulseDec 05, 2019
Stocks close slightly higher as investors shake off trade concerns amid improving data
U.S. stocks closed higher for a second consecutive session Thursday as U.S. and Chinese officials continued to express optimism that a limited trade deal can be reached that would ratchet back tensions, though news reports suggest that sticking points remain ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline, when the U.S. plans to implement further tariffs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 33 points, or 0.1% to end at about 27,681, according to preliminary data. The S&P 500 index gained roughly 5 points, or 0.2% to close at 3,118 and the Nasdaq Composite index advanced 4 points, or 0.1% to end the session around 8,571. A spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce said that trade negotiations were progressing Thursday, but a report in the Wall Street Journal said the two sides remain at odds on the issues of U.S. tariff reductions and Chinese commitments to agricultural purchases. Investors were heartened by economic data that showed continued strength in the labor market, with new claims for unemployment benefits falling back to a near 50-year low. Meanwhile, the beleaguered manufacturing sector showed life in October, with factory orders rising for the first time in three months, the Commerce Department said.

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