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US markets end higher on Monday

The US markets ended higher on Monday, building on Friday's powerful rally, as investors pored through the latest US-China trade developments. Sentiment got boost as senior officials from China unexpectedly showed up for negotiations between Beijing and their counterparts in Washington in an effort to resolve longstanding trade disagreements that have triggered uncertainty in global markets. As per private report, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, was among attendees, sparking some optimism given the symbolism of a top-level bureaucrat attending the talks. Trade officials from both countries are looking to hammer out an agreement over the next 48 hours, however, there are doubts over how to best ensure that both countries follow through on promises made during talks with Trump administration worried about enforcement. Investors were also keeping an eye on the partial government shutdown, now in its 17th day, with some government employees expected to see their first missed paycheck as a result of an impasse between President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers over funding for a US-Mexico border wall.

On the economic front, a report released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed growth in US service sector activity slowed by more than anticipated in the month of December. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index dropped to 57.6 in December after inching up to 60.7 in November. While a reading above 50 still indicates service sector growth, Street had expected the index to dip to 59.0. The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index was partly due to notably slower growth in business activity, with the business activity index tumbling to 59.9 in December from 65.2 in November.

Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 98.19 points or 0.42 percent to 23531.35, Nasdaq surged 84.61 points or 1.26 percent to 6823.47 and S&P 500 was up by 17.75 points or 0.70 percent to 2549.69.

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