Stocks Gain as US Officials Deny Consideration of Ban on American Investments in China, Delisting of China Firms

Equities were higher Monday after US officials denied media reports that said the Trump administration was considering restricting American investments in China and delisting companies from the Asian nation from US stock exchanges.

“I’ve read it far more carefully than it was written,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday about a Bloomberg report. “Over half of it was highly inaccurate or simply flat-out false.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Treasury spokeswoman Monica Crowley said over the weekend that “the administration is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on US stock exchanges at this time.”

Crowley didn’t discuss other options that were reported and declined further details on discussions within the administration.

Tech shares were leading the market higher, advancing more than 0.8%. Apple (AAPL) added 1.9% after JPMorgan raised its price target on the computer giant. International Business Machines (IBM) also added 1.9% while Cisco Systems (CSCO) was up 1.2%.

Health care stocks were nearly 0.8% higher, pulled higher by Merck’s (MRK) 1.4% gain. AmerisourceBergen (ABC) added and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) were each higher 2.1%.

Crude-oil futures fell, driving energy shares 0.2% lower. West Texas Intermediate were nearly 0.8% lower to $55.49 a barrel while international benchmark Brent dropped almost 1.3% to $61.11 a barrel.

Baker Hughes (BHGE) was 3.1%. higher while National Oilwell Vargo (NOV) was down 2.9%. Helmerich & Payne (HP) was 2.1% lower.

In company news, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) popped 7% after Wedbush Securities upgraded its rating on the home-goods retailer to outperform from neutral.

Sempra Energy (SRE) was 2.3% higher after announcing a $3.59 billion deal to sell stakes in its Peruvian businesses and has struck a possible deal to distribute liquified natural gas to China.

Blackstone (BX) was nearly 2.8% lower after the private-equity firm agreed to purchase logistics assets from Colony Capital (CLNY) for $5.9 billion. Colony was 0.3% lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq Composite were each up nearly 0.6%.

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