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US President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping -- seen here in June 2019 -- started to redefine one of the world's most significant geopolitical relationships in the 2010s


US stocks edge higher ahead of China trade deal signing

US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping – seen here in June 2019 – started to redefine one of the world’s most significant geopolitical relationships in the 2010s/AFP-File

NEW YORK, United States, Jan 16 – Wall Street stocks edged higher early Thursday ahead of the signing of the US-China trade accord and as markets digested mixed earnings reports.

Investors have welcomed the trade deal as a sign of mellowing tensions between the two economic superpowers, but some analysts note investors have largely priced in the positive news, which could limit further gains.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2 percent at 29,000.03, above its all-time closing high.

The broad-based S&P 500 also added 0.2 percent to 3,289.44, as did the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index, which stood at 9,271.71.

Among individual companies, Goldman Sachs dropped 1.8 percent as it reported lower fourth-quarter due in part to a one-time charge of $1.1 billion for legal costs.

The charge comes as Goldman continues to pursue settlement talks with authorities, including the US Justice Department, over the firm’s work for 1MDB, the scandal-plagued Malaysian investment fund.

Among other companies reporting results, Bank of American fell 2.4 percent and UnitedHealth Group gained 1.6 percent.

Target plunged 6.3 percent as the big-box retailer reported disappointing sales for the critical holiday shopping season.

Target’s comparable sales grew just 1.4 percent in November and December, with weakness in electronics, toys and some other categories weighing on performance.

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