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US stocks gain as China says tariffs could be removed

Wall Street stocks rose back into record territory early Thursday following comments from China that pointed to a potential removal of tariffs in the long-running trade war with the United States.

Chinese officials said 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.

The remarks opened the door to a significant breakthrough in a trade conflict that has pressured the global economy for more than a year, although some analysts noted that the lack of US comment on the issue raised questions.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.7 percent at 27,687.21.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also advanced 0.7 percent to 8,473.01, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent to 3,095.62.

US stocks jumped to records earlier this week in part the result of optimism over trade, along with a better-than-expected earnings period and accommodative Fed policy.

However, equities have been choppy the last two days, due in part to the lack of tangible progress in the US-China trade conflict.

Stocks were pressured Wednesday following reports that the United States and China might delay a meeting to formalize the phase one agreement.