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Stocks - Wall Street Rises on Trade Hope - Wall Street opened higher on Monday, boosted by fresh trade talks between the U.S. and China as they try to make a deal before the March 1 deadline.

The S&P 500 rose 8 points, or 0.32%, as of 9:34 AM ET (14:34 GMT), while the Dow gained 67 points, or 0.27%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite increased 34 points, or 0.47%.

Positive outlooks from Chinese officials were offset by comments last week from U.S. President Donald Trump, who said he does not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the deadline.

High-level talks are expected to take place Thursday and Friday.

Washington and Beijing officials are trying to make a deal ahead of the March 1 deadline when U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are due to increase from 10% to 25%.

"These trade talks are being viewed as a positive. There is still a lot of uncertainty but there's this pattern of markets embracing good news a little bit more than bad news," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) was among the top gainers, rising 2.6% after CNBC reported that analysts at Canaccord Genuity upgraded the stock to buy and hiked its price target to $450 from $330. General Electric (NYSE:GE) gained 1.2%, while Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) inched up 0.5% and Boeing (NYSE:BA) was up 0.7%.

Meanwhile, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) inched down 0.3%, while Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) slumped 2.5% amid reports that the company is planning to lay off hundreds of employees.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.65% to $1,309.95 a troy ounce while crude oil slumped 2.45% at $51.41 a barrel after an International Monetary Official said Saudi Arabia would need oil at $80-$85 a barrel to balance its budget. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, jumped 0.34% to 96.748.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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