Datadog went public on Thursday and instantly hit a $10 billion valuation, becoming the fourth cloud software debut to reach that level this year.Technologyread more
Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Tony James says he's less optimistic now than before that the U.S.-China trade war could be resolved, but even a smaller deal could help...World Economyread more
There are challenges with Iran, North Korea, the Afghan Taliban, Israel and the Palestinians — not to mention a number of trade pacts.Politicsread more
In perhaps Buffett's first televised profile, he explained a method of investing that prioritizes bargains and makes use of an occasional baseball analogy.Marketsread more
The massive market transformation this month that some on Wall Street called a "once in a decade opportunity" might have just been a one-off technical move because of taxes.Marketsread more
A 58% majority of registered voters express unease about voting for Trump, but slightly more say the same about Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, while Elizabeth Warren fares only...Politicsread more
A temporary airspace closure forced flights coming into Dubai from Australia, Singapore and India to be diverted to nearby airports.Airlinesread more
As the home to major companies such as Garmin, Sprint, H&R Block and Russell Stover Chocolates, plenty of business travelers find themselves in Kansas City for work. Here's...Travelread more
The United States aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops ordered to be deployed in the Gulf region are for "deterrence and defense," U.S. Secretary of State...Politicsread more
Investors are asking how the world's third-largest defense spender could have left itself so vulnerable and what that means for the future.Politicsread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
(Updates to market close)
* S&P 500 closes in on record high
U.S. to delay tariff increase on select Chinese imports
* ECB promises continued stimulus
* CPI, jobless claims better than expected
* Indexes up: Dow 0.17%, S&P 500 0.29%, Nasdaq 0.3%
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Wall Street advanced on Thursday, and the S&P 500 ended the session within striking distance of its all-time closing high, buoyed by positive developments on the U.S.-China trade front and a promise of continued stimulus from the European Central Bank.
Technology gains led the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher, while financials gave the biggest boost to the blue-chip Dow, which closed up for the seventh consecutive session, its longest winning streak since May.
Stocks rose worldwide as China and the United States made concessions ahead of next month's planned talks in Washington, aimed at easing a trade war that has whipsawed markets and stoked recessionary fears for months.
U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to delay increased tariffs on billions worth of Chinese goods for two weeks after China exempted tariffs on a basket of U.S. imports and promised to buy more U.S. agricultural products.
"It's good that (the United States and China are) talking and there appears to be less animosity," said Stephen Massocca, Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. "The actual concessions that were made are immaterial, but the spirit they were made in is what the market views as more important."
Investor confidence got an early boost from the European Central Bank (ECB), which promised continued stimulus to the ailing euro zone economy through asset purchases.
David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York, expressed skepticism about the potential benefits of additional stimulus.
"At this stage of the cycle, we're not sure if further ECB or Fed easing will have a meaningful fundamental impact given that rates have been so low for so long," Carter said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to cut key interest rates by 25 basis points next week, a move intended to head off signs of U.S. economic softening.
Such softening was not apparent in economic data released by the Labor Department on Thursday. Core consumer prices rose 2.4% in August, well above the Fed's 2% inflation target and jobless claims dropped more than expected last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.41 points, or 0.17%, to 27,182.45, the S&P 500 gained 8.64 points, or 0.29%, to 3,009.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.79 points, or 0.3%, to 8,194.47.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but energy and healthcare closed in the black, with materials and real estate posting the largest percentage gains.
Industrial bellwethers Deere & Co and Caterpillar Inc ended the session down 1.1% and 1.0%, respectively, after Wells Fargo downgraded their shares to "market perform."
Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc rose 1.2% after Google reached a $1.1 billion settlement with French authorities to resolve a fiscal fraud probe, and following a legal victory over German publishers over fee demands.
Shares of Tocagen Inc plunged 77.7% after the drugmaker's experimental brain cancer treatment failed in a late-stage study.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.24-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 40 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 89 new highs and 27 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.51 billion shares, compared with the 6.79 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days. (Reporting by Stephen Culp Editing by Bill Berkrot)