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US stocks rise ahead of signing of 'Phase 1' trade deal

Associated Press
Stocks rose in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday ahead of the signing of an initial trade deal between the U.S. and China.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday ahead of the signing of an initial trade deal between the U.S. and China.

President Donald Trump and China's chief negotiator, Liu He, are scheduled to sign the "Phase 1" deal that will ease some sanctions on China. Beijing will also step up its purchases of U.S. farm products and other goods. The initial agreement is a key step toward de-escalating an 18-month long trade conflict between the world's largest economies.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told FOX Business’ on Tuesday night that Beijing will purchase up to $50 billion of crops, $40 billion of which has been confirmed by Chinese sources. China has also agreed to buy $40 billion in services, $50 billion in energy and $75 billion to $80 billion worth of manufacturing, according to Chinese sources.

"This is a great win for American business and American farmers," Mnuchin told Fox Business.

Both nations will have to deal with some of the more contentious trade issues as they move ahead with negotiations. Punitive tariffs will remain on Chinese goods as talks continue.

Health care stocks led gains in the early going. Investors cheered a solid fourth-quarter earnings report from UnitedHealth Group.

Technology companies also climbed. The sector is reliant on China for sales and supply chains and benefits from progress in trade relations.

Banks were broadly lower after Bank of America and Goldman Sachs reported weaker profits. 

Editor: This story is developing and will be updated throughout the day as details of the deal are made known.