"The signing of the trade deal is a welcome step in the de-escalation of the trade war which has weighed heavily on the US and global economies", said Luke Tilley, chief economist at money manager Wilmington Trust Corp.in Delaware.
Health care stocks accounted for much of the market's gains.
U.S. Treasurys gained, lowering the yield on the 10-year note by 2.6 basis points to 1.792 percent. Utilities and makers of household goods also rose. UnitedHealth Group rose 2.8% after solid fourth-quarter earnings report. But the deal does not remove existing tariffs. Investors had been eagerly awaiting the signing of the so-called phase one trade agreement as the conflict between the world's largest economies has dragged on for almost two years.
Expectations for the corporate earnings season were relatively low.
"We're expecting a reacceleration in the back end of the year, so any (company) guidance that brings any type of skepticism to that could threaten the recent rally we've had and the gains that we've accrued in the past few months", he said.
A survey of business conditions in various Federal Reserve districts, known as the Beige Book, was released on Wednesday, indicated economic activity expanded modestly during the final six weeks of 2019 and the labor market remained tight with businesses reporting difficulty finding workers, although there were job cuts in the manufacturing, transportation and energy sectors. Its stock rose 2.8%.
The deal commits China to do more to crack down on the theft of American technology and corporate secrets by its companies and state entities.
Other health insurers also moved higher. Microsoft rose 0.8% and Advanced Micro Devices gained 0.9%.
Many investors, however, are already looking ahead to a potentially rosier earnings outlook once Washington and China resolve their trade dispute.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 0.5% to $58.10 a barrel. The pickup in mortgage applications reflects heightened demand for homes and suggests many people are eager to buy a home now rather than waiting for the traditional late-February start of the spring homebuying season.
And Target (TGT) lost 6.6% after reporting disappointing holiday same-store sales. Hovnanian Enterprises climbed 4.5%.
Target's comparable sales grew just 1.4 per cent in November and December, with weakness in electronics, toys and some other categories weighing on performance.
In commodities, USA crude oil futures tumbled 0.7% to $57.81 after new government data showed a huge increase in stockpiles of oil and processed fuels. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, dropped 49 cents to close at $64 a barrel. Heating oil declined 3 cents to $1.88 per gallon. The euro strengthened to $1.1150 from $1.1128.
The dollar rose to 109.88 Japanese yen from 109.93 yen on Tuesday.
UnitedHealth Group Inc UNH.N , the largest US health insurer, rose 2.8% as it affirmed its full-year outlook for 2020 adjusted earnings. The Shanghai Composite closed 0.5% lower.
The World Cup-winning Springboks have been nominated in the Team of the Year category at this year's Laureus World Sports Awards. Tennis has come away with at least one win in 17 of the 20 awards shows.
We're about a month out from the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , and the dust is finally settling. Coruscant is occupied by the First Order, and the Jedi Temple there becomes a major plot-point in the script.
One idea Rooney discussed was expanding the policy to include coordinator positions and other levels of coaching. As it appears right now, there just weren't very many minorities in the process at all this year.
No matter what happened, to a man on both sides, the teams kept plowing forward which made for a very dramatic and tense game. Steen tied it with 6:21 left on a backhand after Robert Thomas' pass found him all alone in front of the Flyers' net.
West Yorkshire Police said Khan was held on Tuesday following an operation involving the National Crime Agency and local partners. A man wanted in connection with the murder of a Bradford police officer nearly 15 years ago has been arrested in Pakistan .
The time away has done one thing - it has made Koepka eager to return to the golf grind. "The Ryder Cup is in September". The National Course 18 holes of Abu Dhabi Golf Club's 27 holes welcomes the top players once again this week.
Gilgeous-Alexander is now averaging a team-high 19.9 points to go with 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He achieved the feat during the Thunder vs Timberwolves game on Monday night (Tuesday morning IST).
Daniel Wright said: "The devastation to wildlife has been unimaginable ... most heartbreaking is the koala bears #SaveTheKoala". NASA is tracking smoke spreading around the globe, which Parmitano could easily see from space.
The Academy has since made strides to diversify its voting body, inviting a record 683 new members the following year. Quality is everywhere but most industries only believe in quality from one demographic.
Bellaire High School Student Shot, Gunman at Large
A 16-year-old student was shot to death Tuesday at a Texas high school, and a suspect was arrested hours later, officials said. There were conflicting media reports about whether the shooting occurred inside or outside of the school building.
4 cylindres au lieu de 6 — Toyota GR Supra
Grosse nouvelle en ce début de semaine: la Toyota Supra passe au quatre cylindres, avec le moteur 2.0 de 258 ch de BMW. Cette édition sera produite pour le lancement du 2,0 litres et limitée à 200 exemplaires seulement pour l'Europe.
Virgin Island suit alleges decades-long abuse by Epstein
George, Jeffrey Epstein and his associates were abusing women and underaged girls on his private Caribbean Little St. He even kept a computer database to track where the women and girls were and who was available, the Times reported.
Being rich "can add nine healthy years to your life"
Yet research has previously shown that such a divide has less to do with age and more to do with health care (or lack thereof). A new study found that those who are richest live much more years without disabilities than those who are poorest.