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Dow, S&P 500 end at records on US-China trade deal optimism

The Dow and S&P 500 finished at fresh records on Thursday following Chinese comments that pointed to a potential removal of tariffs in the long-running trade war with the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.7 percent at 27,674.80, about 180 points above the all-time high of two days ago.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent to 3,085.18, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3 percent to 8,434.52.

Investors welcomed statements from Chinese officials that the two sides have agreed a plan to remove tariffs imposed on goods in stages if a preliminary "phase one" agreement announced last month is finalized.

However, the White House did not publicly comment on the claim and gains moderated following a Reuters report that described opposition to rolling back tariffs within the White House.

The pullback revealed continued doubt about a US-China trade agreement despite more conciliatory signs from both sides, said Karl Haeling of LBBW.

"Until this thing is nailed down, there is still a lingering concern that it could fall apart," Haeling said. "You're one tweet away, so to speak."

Haeling said investors were also cheered by a big jump in US Treasury yields, a sign of reviving confidence in global growth as recession fears have ebbed.

Among individual companies, Expedia plunged 27.4 percent after reporting disappointing third-quarter results due in part to higher spending on marketing.

Ralph Lauren surged 14.6 percent as it reported better-than-expected results, with comparable sales rising in North America and Europe.