Unmoved by impeachment hearings, investors turned instead to the economy. The final estimate of second-quarter US GDP growth was in line with expectations. It grew at an annualized rate of 2%.
The trade deficit expanded slightly to $72.83 billion in August. Jobless claims for the week ended September 21 were also broadly in line with expectations at 213,000.
Investors will also pay close attention to speeches from Federal Reserve officials, including Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, who is due to speak at 11:45 a.m. ET.
Hopes for a trade deal with China carried stocks higher Wednesday, with all three indexes recording their best day in two weeks. Trump said Wednesday a trade deal with China could happen soon. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq snapped a three-day losing streak.
The United States also signed a trade deal with Japan on Wednesday, which reduced tariffs on some agricultural and industrial goods, and perhaps boosted hopes for a deal with China further.
“We have heard this sort of commentary before, and it hasn’t always worked out, but the mood is upbeat nonetheless. President Trump has a habit of changing his tune when it comes to China, so some traders might remain skeptical of the remarks,” wrote David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets in a note.