Stocks spike on report China will increase trade-deal buys

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U.S. equity markets surged Friday after a report that China is ready to increase purchases of U.S. farm products in order to meet the requirements of its phase-one trade deal.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 310 points, or 1.19 percent, in the opening minutes of trading while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.03 percent and 0.89 percent, respectively. Friday is quadruple witching day, meaning stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire.

China will buy more corn, soybean and other agricultural products after purchases were derailed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Looking at stocks, casino operators are on the move after Penn National Gaming resumed operations at several locations; it has now reopened 31 of 40 properties. Sports continue to slowly come back, with the Belmont Stakes horse race set for Saturday. Typically the third leg of the Triple Crown, it's coming first this year after the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness States were delayed.

DraftKings priced shares of its upsized common stock offering at $40 apiece. The sale will include 16 million shares from the company and 24 million from earlier investors.

Meanwhile, airlines, cruise operators, hotels and other travel-related names remain in focus as New York City is scheduled to begin Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Monday.

Elsewhere, movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment plans to reopen about 450 U.S. locations on July 15, and will use a four-phase reopening strategy with the hopes of returning to full seating capacity around Thanksgiving.

Marathon Oil Corp. has held talks with Canadian convenience-store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard and others regarding the sale of its Speedway gas stations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

On the earnings front, gunmaker Smith & Wesson reported better-than-expected profit and revenue, but said sales of non-firearm outdoor products were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s spinoff of its American Outdoor Brands is on track to be completed in August.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped $1.13 to $39.97 a barrel and gold rallied $10.80 to $1,741.90 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys fell, causing the yield on the 10-year note to rise by 3.8 basis points to 0.732 percent.

France’s CAC led the way higher in Europe, up 1.39 percent, while Britain’s FTSE and Germany’s DAX advanced 1.34 percent and 1.06 percent, respectively.


In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.96 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.73 percent and Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.55 percent.

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