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Stocks rally on improving China data

U.S. stocks look to start the new month with a gain, helped by optimism about Chinese manufacturing data.

The three major futures indexes are indicating a rise of 0.4 percent when Wall Street begins trading on Monday.

Also helping to support the markets are the retail slaes numbers from the Thanksgiving weekend.

Small Business Saturday smashed records with $3.6 billion in online sales, according to Adobe Analytics data released Sunday.

On Black Friday, shoppers spent a record-breaking $7.4 billion, according to preliminary data published by Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 online retailers.

Chinese factory activity improved ahead of a possible U.S. tariff hike on Chinese imports.

Monthly surveys showed Chinese manufacturing output rose in November, defying expectations of a decline.

Caixin magazine said its purchasing managers’ index rose to a two-year high of 51.8 from October’s 51.7 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity expanding.

A separate survey by the China Federation for Logistics & Purchasing rose to 50.2 from 49.3.

That helped to buoy sentiment as investors wait for a U.S.-Chinese trade deal ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for a tariff hike. U.S. legislation on Hong Kong threatens to disrupt the negotiations.

China’s Shanghai Composite rose a little less than 0.1 percent, Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 1.0 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4 percent.

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Investors have grown cautious about lack of results from U.S.-Chinese talks on terms of the “Phase 1” deal announced by President Donald Trump in October amid negotiations aimed at ending a costly tariff war.

Washington is due to raise tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese products, including smartphones and laptops, as of Dec. 15.

Trump expressed concern negotiations might be affected by legislation he signed last week that is intended to buttress Hong Kong’s status as a semi-autonomous Chinese territory amid tension over anti-government protests.

The measure could alter treatment of Hong Kong as a separate territory for trade if the State Department determines it no longer has enough autonomy from the Chinese mainland.

In Europe, London’s FTSE added 0.7 percent, Germany’s DAX increased 0.7 percent and France’s CAC was 0.5 percent higher.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 28051.41 -112.59 -0.40%
SP500 S&P 500 3140.98 -12.65 -0.40%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 8665.470809 -39.70 -0.46%

U.S. stocks closed out November with their largest monthly gains since June — though slipped in Friday’s shortened trading session as the holiday-shopping season kicked off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite each rose more than 3 percent for the month and booked modest weekly gains.

The indexes have notched a series of records in recent sessions, most recently on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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