Stocks surge in early trading; Dow up 450

France readies for battle in trade war

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 219 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,422. Investors drew encouragement from signs that the US and China are open to negotiating to avert a potential trade dispute. MKM technical analyst Jonathan Krinsky notes that the percentage of Russell 3000 stocks trading above their 200-day moving average-a sign of a long-term uptrend-dropped below 60% on February 5, and since then has stayed there on all but a small number of days. "The message over the weekend, though, was far less confrontational and suggested the USA would be open to scrapping the tariffs in exchange for certain other concessions such as reduced tariffs on imported cars".

"We're not afraid of a trade war, but that's not our objective", Mnuchin said in an interview Sunday on Fox News.

The Fed's sixth interest rate hike in the current cycle came as the U.S. economy appears to be in such robust health that few in the market doubted the wisdom of it.

Gold rose 5.10 dollars to 1,355 an ounce, silver gained 10 cents to 16.68 dollars an ounce, and copper slipped 2 cents to 2.97 dollars a pound.

Banks also notched solid gains, benefiting from a pickup in bond yields. Bank of America added $1.27, or 4.4 percent, to $30.44.

Among the leaders blue-chip Dow composite in Monday afternoon trading were several technology plays, including Micsrosoft, Intel, Apple and United Technologies.

The broad gains Monday were led by technology stocks and banks, which took some of the biggest losses last week as trade tensions flared between the US and China.

European stocks rebounded, with the Stoxx Europe 600 climbing 1.1% and more than recouping its Monday decline.

Last Thursday and Friday, the Dow lost more than a total of 1,100 points amid increasing signs of a looming trade war between the two major trading partners. The Dow's close of 23,533.2 puts it back in correction territory. In fact, it is poised to post a roughly 200-point gain after a few days of frenzied trading.

Facebook fell another 2.9 percent after the Federal Trade Commission said it was investigating the company's privacy practices. Facebook is around 20 percent off its 52-week high.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.84 percent.

The Dow is still on pace for one of its worst-performing months since 2015 as investors grow anxious that Trump's trade policies and their fallout could upset a robust global economy.

China also hit back on Trump's earlier aluminum and steel tariffs by imposing their own tariffs on about $3 billion worth of imports of U.S. goods, including pork, fruit and wine. Retailers, consumer goods companies and health care stocks were among the big gainers.

"This is a relief rally in tech shares that may not suffer from strained dealings with China as much as feared last week", Washington investment manager Michael Farr said. Nvidia fell more than any other stock in the S&P 500, tumbling $22.28, or 9.1 percent, to $222.20. A measure of US corporate junk bonds rose the most in a month.

Information for this article was contributed by Alex Veiga of The Associated Press.

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