December 3, 2018 / 5:12 PM / 9 months ago

US STOCKS-Trade detente helps Wall Street build on last week's gains

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* U.S., China agree on a 90-day trade ceasefire for talks

* Technology, industrials sectors biggest boost to S&P

* Carmakers gain as Trump says China to cut import tariffs

* Energy stocks’ gains ebb along with crude price rally

* Indexes up: Dow 0.84 pct, S&P 0.78 pct, Nasdaq 1.31 pct (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Dec 3 (Reuters) - Trade-sensitive industrial and technology stocks pushed Wall Street higher on Monday after the United States and China agreed on a temporary trade truce, hopes of which had driven the market last week to post its biggest gain in nearly seven years.

Washington and Beijing agreed to a 90-day trade ceasefire at the G20 summit in Argentina on Saturday and U.S. President Donald Trump said China had agreed to cut import tariffs on American-made cars.

However, the White House also said that the existing 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would be lifted to 25 percent if no deal was reached within 90 days.

Still, the ceasefire was enough to boost S&P technology up 1.55 percent and industrials 1.03 percent, both sectors that have borne the brunt of the escalating trade dispute.

Apple Inc, recently hit by worries over possible tariffs on iPhones, rose 2.1 percent. Trade bellwethers Caterpillar Inc and Boeing Co were up 2.9 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

“The fact that we got something positive out of the trade discussions is enough for investors to slowly get back into market, but they are just short covering and not really buying,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

“Investors are cautiously optimistic, they are dipping their feet back into the water but aren’t quite jumping in.” Inc jumped 4.9 percent, helping send the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite to their highest in over three weeks. But the markets pared some gains as the rally in crude oil prices tapered.

At 11:38 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up about 1 percent.

Energy stocks rose 1.6 percent as crude prices surged on the trade truce and as Canada’s Alberta province ordered a production cut. But their gains had decreased as the rally in oil prices tempered to 3 percent from about 5 percent at the open.

Trump’s tweet on lower Chinese import taxes sent General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Tesla Inc up between 1.8 percent and 3.7 percent.

Chipmakers, which have the highest revenue exposure to China, also rallied, sending the Philadelphia Semiconductor index up 2.03 percent and back into positive territory for the year.

The defensive real estate, utilities and consumer staples sectors housed most of the laggards.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.16-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.53-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 34 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 64 new highs and 47 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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