Stocks finish strong on Monday

NEW YORK — Industrial and technology companies led stocks to solid gains Monday after the U.S. and China appeared to make significant progress in trade talks. That helped ease concerns among investors that the world’s two biggest economies might be headed for a trade war.

After another round of talks, the two countries agreed not to place tariffs on goods imported from the other. The Chinese government said it will buy more U.S. goods, including energy and agricultural products, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. postponed its proposal to put tariffs on up to $150 billion in goods from China. The two sides gave no indication of how much progress they had made toward ending their dispute entirely and both said hostilities could increase again.

The S&P 500 index climbed 20.04 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,733.01. The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 371 points during the morning and finished with a gain of 298.20 points, or 1.2 percent, to 25,013.29. The Nasdaq composite gained 39.70 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,394.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks set another record close as it jumped 10.81 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,637.44.

All 11 sectors in the S&P 500 index finished higher. Among industrials, Boeing gained 3.6 percent to $363.92 and construction equipment maker Caterpillar rose 2.1 percent to $158.92. In the financial sector, Bank of New York Mellon added 1.3 percent to $57.72 and JPMorgan Chase rose 0.9 percent to $112.15.

Tesla struggles with Model 3

Even as Tesla scrambles to master the production challenges of making its first mass-market electric car, the Model 3, the company is moving to add two high-end versions of the vehicle — versions that its chief, Elon Musk, said may be crucial to its profitability.

In fact, delivering the base-price model at this point would cause the company “to lose money & die,” he declared in a Twitter post over the weekend.

Tesla began producing the Model 3 last summer, and so far it has made only versions selling for $49,000 or more. The base model priced at $35,000 — meant to make the car broadly affordable — is not yet available.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Musk suggested that the company would suffer significant losses on the $35,000 model at this stage. He said that Tesla must increase Model 3 production to 5,000 cars a week — and then keep up that pace for three to six months — before it could begin shipping the base version.

The company has said it expects to offer the standard model by the end of the year.

— From wire reports

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