NEW YORK (REUTERS) - US stocks rose for a third straight session on Thursday (Nov 1) as President Donald Trump said trade talks with China were "moving along nicely," reviving hopes that the two countries can resolve their trade dispute.
Adding to the upbeat mood, the latest round of results from companies was mostly positive.
Trump said he plans to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month.
The trade-sensitive S&P industrial sector rose 1.7 per cent, with Boeing and Caterpillar among companies leading the gains.
"Maybe there's going to be some hope that a trade deal with China will actually come through," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth in New York.
Beyond that, investors are feeling a bit more comfortable after gains this week, he said.
"Now you get a little bit of fear of missing out, mixing in with, 'I don't believe this is actually happening,'" he said.
"The fear of missing out seems to be on the winning side."
Despite ending higher on Wednesday, the S&P 500 closed out its worst month in seven years, following fears of a widening global trade dispute, rising borrowing costs, and that US earnings growth may slow more than forecast in 2019.
The S&P materials index was up 3 per cent, with DowDuPont surging after it reported strong results and plans for a US$3 billion (S$4.1 billion) share buyback.
Apple was up slightly ahead of its results, due after the bell. The technology index rose 1.2 per cent, continuing to recover from the recent selloff.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 264.98 points, or 1.06 per cent, to 25,380.74, the S&P 500 gained 28.63 points, or 1.06 per cent, to 2,740.37 and the Nasdaq Composite added 128.16 points, or 1.75 per cent, to 7,434.06.
Also helping were robust earnings reports from three Apple suppliers, NXP Semiconductors, Dialog Semiconductor and Qorvo.
Technology-related stocks, which have led the stock market's bull run in recent years, helped lead the selling in October, with the S&P 500 tech index down 8 per cent in the month.
The Nasdaq is up 5.4 per cent for the last three sessions, its biggest three-day gain since February 2016.
Of the 348 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results so far, 77 per cent have reported earnings above analysts' expectations, pushing the aggregate third-quarter earnings growth estimate for S&P 500 companies to 26.2 per cent, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.21-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.46-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 32 new highs and 57 new lows.
About 9.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 8.7 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days.