U.S. stocks rallied Thursday after retail behemoth Walmart Inc. reported its best sales growth in more than a decade and Chinese and American officials agreed to hold talks in an attempt to resolve the trade dispute between the two countries. The dollar fell with Treasuries, and gold and oil rose.
All major equity benchmarks were higher. The S&P 500 Index climbed, led by telephone and consumer staples shares, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added almost 400 points, or 1.6 percent. Food retailers posted their best gain since November after Walmart, the top performing S&P 500 company, said grocery sales spurred its strong results.