NEW YORK, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks posted weekly gains as investors' sentiment was lifted by the news that China and the United States agreed to jointly create favorable conditions for trade talks in October.
For the week, the Dow gained 1.5 percent, and both S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 1.8 percent.
Chinese and U.S. chief trade negotiators agreed on Thursday to jointly take concrete actions to create favorable conditions for further consultations in October.
The agreement was reached in a phone conversation Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, held upon invitation with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The two sides agreed to hold the 13th round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations in early October in Washington and maintain close communication before that.
In economic news, the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Friday at an event in Switzerland that the trade tensions between the United States and China are weighing down companies' investment decisions.
He said uncertainty around trade policy is causing some companies to hold back on investment, according to reports from CNBC.
The central bank released its latest beige book on Wednesday. According to the report, economic activity increased in most of the United States, with eight of 12 Federal Reserve Districts reporting modest to moderate growth.
The majority of districts indicated that manufacturing expanded, but that growth had slowed, particularly in the auto and energy sectors, the beige book said.
Although concerns regarding tariffs and trade policy uncertainty continued, the majority of businesses remained optimistic about the near-term outlook, the report said.
The beige book is a regular report of the U.S. central bank on current economic conditions across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts, based on information collected from various sources, including research reports and interviews with business contacts.
On data front, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday.
August's total nonfarm payroll employment is down from July's downwardly revised number of 159,000, and is lower than the Wall Street estimates of 150,000.
In the meantime, a gauge of U.S. manufacturing from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed the sector contracted in August.
The U.S. manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers' index) registered 49.1 percent, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the July reading, according to the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business released on Tuesday.
Timothy Fiore, chair of ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said in a statement that comments from the panel reflect a notable decrease in business confidence. August saw the end of the PMI expansion that spanned 35 months, with steady expansion softening over the last four months.