Optimism Over Latest U.S.-China Talks Outweighs Investor Concerns and Lifts Stocks to Moderate Gains

J.M. Smucker is in a Jam, but the market was buoyed by progress on trade talks.

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By Andrew Osterland

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The current talks in Washington will be extended for a couple of days after President Trump met with Vice Premier Liu He today. China has reportedly agreed to purchase $1.2 trillion of U.S. goods, though the time period and terms are unknown. The two sides are discussing a possible meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of next month, which suggests that the Mar. 1 deadline, when tariffs on Chinese goods will rise from 10 to 25 percent, will likely be extended.

The Dow index, up 0.7 percent today, posted its ninth consecutive positive week since bottoming on Christmas Eve. It is now up 11.6 percent so far this year. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes were up 0.64 percent and 0.91 percent respectively. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day up 0.74 percent.

J.M. Smucker Company had the biggest move in either direction on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, falling 5.01 percent. The food-maker and virtually the entire food sector was hammered after Kraft Heinz announced a $15 billion write-down of its Oscar Meyer and Kraft brands today. Kraft's stock was down a whopping 27.5 percent. Earlier this week, Smucker shares had a nice pop after the company gave forward guidance above expectations.

The technology sector outperformed today, with all thirteen tech stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ posting gains. Twitter (3.06 percent), NVIDIA Corp. (2.21 percent) and Netflix (1.57 percent), had the biggest jumps.

Extra Space Storage had a nice bounce-back today after a two-day plunge book-ending the financial results the company reported the day before yesterday. The stock, down nearly seven percent in the last two days, was up 2.47 percent today. The broader REIT sector was also strong, with SL Green Realty Corp. and Boston Properties posting gains of 0.96 percent and 0.83 percent respectively.

Other notable gains on the Entrepreneur Index™ included drug-maker Alexion Pharmaceuticals, (1.71 percent), casino-operator Wynn Resorts (1.64 percent) and Verisign Inc. (1.59 percent).

Only three stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ fell by more than one percent today. Along with J.M Smucker, Capital One Financial and retailer Dollar Tree Inc. had declines of 1.06 percent and 1.03 respectively.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.

Andrew Osterland

Andrew Osterland is a contributing writer for CNBC.com. He specializes in capital markets, personal finance and taxes.

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