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US-China trade deal hopes lift stocks on Wall Street

Stocks moved higher in early trading on Wall Street and headed for records on Friday after U.S. officials said they were making progress in the latest push for a trade agreement with China.

The market has been sensitive to any developments on U.S.-China trade talks. Investors hope the world’s two biggest economies can make a deal before new and more damaging tariffs take effect next month.

The latest signs of progress in trade talks put investors in a buying mood. Technology stocks were the biggest winners in the early going. Applied Materials surged 7.3% on solid earnings.

Health care and industrial companies were also making strong gains. Biogen rose 1.5% and Caterpillar rose 1.3%.

Bond prices fell and pushed yields higher, signaling that investors were shifting away from safe-play holdings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.83% from 1.81% late Thursday.

Real estate companies and utilities lagged the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.3% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82 points, or 0.3%, to 27,866. The Nasdaq rose 0.4%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.4%.

Asian and European markets moved higher.

SLOW AND STEADY: The S&P 500 has set records and extended its winning streak despite days of listless trading this week. The index is on track for its sixth weekly gain. It closed at a record of 3,096.63 on Thursday and is on track to beat that.

The Dow is on track for its fourth week of gains. It is poised to beat its record close of 27,783.59, which it set on Wednesday.

The Nasdaq could also potentially beat its record of 8,486.09, which it set on Tuesday.

BUFFETT BUMP: Luxury retailer RH rose 5.4% and energy company Occidental Petroleum gained 3% after Warren Buffett’s company disclosed that it had picked up shares on both companies.

BIG FISH: Amarin jumped 6.5% after a government advisory panel recommended broader use of its fish oil-based heart disease drug Vascepa. Financial analysts predict that broader use of the drug could translate into billions in sales.