US stocks move higher as China eases trade tensions

U.S. stocks marched broadly higher Wednesday as investors snapped up technology companies following China’s move to exempt some U.S. products from a recent round of tariffs.

The tech sector, which has much to gain or lose in the trade war, moved broadly higher in the early going. Apple, which unveiled a variety of new products and services a day earlier, rose 1.8%. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 1.4%.

Energy and communications stocks also made strong gains. Oilfield services company Schlumberger rose 2% and AT&T rose 1.2%.

The financial sector wobbled between small gains and losses after pulling out of an early slide. Consumer product makers were essentially flat.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.73% from 1.70% late Tuesday.

China on Wednesday said it will exempt American industrial grease and some other imports from tariff increases, though it kept in place penalties on soybeans and other major U.S. exports ahead of negotiations next month.

The move could indicate that both sides are settling in for an extended conflict even as they prepare for talks in Washington aimed at ending the dispute that threatens global economic growth.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 0.4% as of 11:35 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 88 points, or 0.3%, to 26,999. The Nasdaq rose 0.7%.

Investors continued to shift money to smaller-company stocks. The Russell 2000 index rose 1.1%, far outpacing the broader market.

MIDWEEK MARK: The broader market has gained ground since a wobbly start on Monday. The S&P 500 is coming off of two weeks of gains and is on a path to extend its winning streak.

The Russell 2000 is the clear winner midway into the week, boasting a 3.5% gain. Smaller companies within the index are being viewed as more insulated from the impact of volatile swings in the U.S.-China trade war.

The S&P 500 is up 0.4% for the week and the Nasdaq is up 0.5%. The Dow is slightly stronger, notching a 0.8% gain.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Asia and Europe moved broadly higher. Analysts continue to expect the European Central Bank to inject a shot of stimulus on Thursday to help shore up economic growth. The measures will likely include cuts to a key interest rate and could involve launching new bond purchases.

WEAK GAME: GameStop plunged 11.4% after the video game retailer slashed its full-year profit forecast following a disappointing second quarter. The company continues to struggle as it competes with online game sellers. It is also spending to revitalize existing locations in an effort to attract more customers, but said it will take time to see any results.

ARCADE MIRE: Dave & Buster’s Entertainment fell 5.8% after the restaurant and arcade operator cut its sales forecast for the year. The company is facing increased competition. The downturn hit food and beverage sales especially hard during the second quarter.