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US stocks: Dow climbs for 8th straight week amid trade optimism

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Traders and financial professionals work ahead of the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 29, 2019 in New York City.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished another strong week on a positive note on Friday, rising again on optimism over US-China trade talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.7 per cent to 25,883.25 to close its eight straight week of gains.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 1.1 per cent to finish at 2,775.60, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index won 0.6 per cent to end at 7,472.41.

US President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were going "extremely well" and again offered the possibility of extending the March 1 deadline for a sharp rise in punitive tariffs.

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It was the latest positive sign on the closely-watched, high-stakes talks.

"There is a lot of optimism that a deal will be done," said Bill Lynch on Hinsdale Associates. "I'll believe it when I see it but it seems that a deal is fairly close."

Investors also greeted Mr Trump's decision to sign a spending bill that averts another government shutdown.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall along the Mexican border, which is expected to face legal challenges, is a "side issue," Mr Lynch said.

Gainers in the Dow were fairly broad-based and included JPMorgan Chase, McDonald's, United Technologies and Verizon, all of which climbed at least 2 per cent.

Mattel dived 18.3 per cent on disappointment with its 2019 forecast.

The toymaker projected 2019 sales to flat as it signalled that several key product lines continue to face challenges.

The "American Girl" franchise will see lower sales in 2019 and is in a "multi-year turnaround," according to a company presentation.

Deere & Company fell 2.1 per cent after its earnings per share lagged analyst estimates. The company said worries about tariffs dented demand for farm equipment.

AFP