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US markets end higher on Tuesday

Extending their gains for third straight day, the US markets ended higher on Tuesday, as optimism about trade talks between the US and China contributed to the continued strength on markets amid a second day of meetings between US and Chinese officials. Face-to-face negotiations between US and Chinese officials entered a second day Tuesday, with hopes rising that the talks will bear fruit after Chinese President Xi Jinping's top policy aide, Premier Liu He, made an appearance on Monday. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump stated that talks were going well. Besides, support also came in real estate and internet stocks, while Apple Inc. and other mega-cap tech companies also helped to propel the market higher. Apple shares rose 1.9 percent after CEO Tim Cook tried to assuage some of the concerns plaguing the tech giant. Amazon also gained 1.66 percent, while Facebook jumped 3.26 percent. Netflix and Alphabet also closed higher.

These gains add to the so-called FAANG trade's sharp rise since December 24. Through Tuesday's close, Facebook shares have surged 15.9 percent since then, while Amazon has rocketed 26.8 percent. Alphabet shares, meanwhile, were up 11 percent in that time period. Netflix's stock was up nearly 37 percent in that time. On the economic front, small-business optimism fell in December, according to the National Federation of Independent Business small-business optimism index, which decreased 0.4 points to a seasonally adjusted level of 104.4, its lowest in 14 months.

Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 256.10 points or 1.09 percent to 23787.45, Nasdaq gained 73.53 points or 1.08 percent to 6897.00 and S&P 500 was up by 24.72 points or 0.97 percent to 2574.41.

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