U.S. stocks moved sharply higher on Friday, closing out the fourth consecutive weekly gain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 1.38 percent or 336 points. The S&P 500 climbed 1.32 percent. The Nasdaq composite recorded a 1 percent gain.
For the week, the Dow gained 2.96 percent, the S&P 500 rose 2.87 percent, and the Nasdaq climbed 2.66 percent. All three indexes registered their best four-week percentage gain since October 2011.
The Dow is up 6.7 percent for the year, a remarkable recovery from the rocky end of the year for stocks.
Despite the gains over the last four weeks, S&P 500 is still 8.9 percent below its Sept 20 record close. But it is far from the 19.8 percent drop from that level it recorded on Christmas Eve.
Stocks jumped following a report from Bloomberg report that said China had offered to increase its annual imports from the U.S. to close the trade gap. In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is considering easing back the tariffs the Trump administration has imposed on Chinese imports. A spokesman for Treasury denied Mnuchin had many any recommendation about tariff policy.
Investor sentiment was also likely boosted by the Federal Reserve’s report that manufacturing output was sharply up in December, defying predictions that output would slump.