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US: Dow leads as US and China revive trade talks


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks powered higher on Thursday on news the US and China will resume trade talks and as strong Walmart earnings lifted the Dow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.6 per cent to finish the session at 25,558.73.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.8 per cent to end at 2,840.67, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 7,806.52.

Chinese officials announced they would send a senior negotiator to the United States in late August to resume trade talks, the first public meeting on the escalating dispute in weeks.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow confirmed the meeting and said, "I just think this is a good thing. It's better to talk than not talk."

Key gainers in the Dow included Boeing, which jumped 4.3 per cent, and Caterpillar, which rose 3.2 per cent. Both companies have been seen as especially vulnerable to a breakdown in US-China relations.

Walmart shot up more than nine percent after reporting a 4.5 per cent jump in comparable sales at US stores in the second quarter, its strongest performance in more than a decade.

The retail giant attributed the gains to sound implementation of its strategy to boost e-commerce ventures, as well as to strong US economic conditions.

Generic drug company Teva soared 7.3 per cent after the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic alternative for the EpiPen, a life-saving emergency allergy medicine.

Chipotle Mexican Grill slumped 4.4 per cent after public health officials reported evidence of a bacteria as the culprit in an outbreak of illness that originated at one of the company's restaurant in Ohio. Chipotle pledged to retrain all employees nationally on food safety procedures.