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President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

Damir Sagolj | Reuters

President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

U.S. trade officials said in a statement they will report back to the White House for further guidance on the talks.

The meetings this week were the first between U.S. and China officials since President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce in December to the two countries’ ongoing trade war. Both countries have been engaged in a tense sparring of tariffs, targeting billions of dollars’ worth of imports in each other’s economies with levies.

Ed Yardeni, president and CIO of Yardeni Research, said China could move quickly to strike a deal with the U.S. to avoid further economic pain.

“Lately, it seems to have gotten so bad for China domestically that it may have no choice but to make a trade deal in favor of the US, which could be a boon to US and global equity markets,” Yardeni said in a note. “More evidence recently has confirmed my earlier hypothesis about China’s weakness,” he added, citing Apple’s quarterly revenue warning from last week as well as deteriorating leading indicators like purchasing managers’ indexes.

The recent tone shift around U.S.-China trade talks has helped boost stocks recently. On Tuesday, the Dow notched its first three-day winning streak since late November. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have rallied more than 10 percent since Dec. 24.

However, investors also kept an eye on the ongoing government shutdown. Ratings agency Fitch warned Wednesday it may cut the U.S.’ triple-A rating if the shutdown continues.

President Donald Trump delivered an address on immigration and border security Tuesday night, where he made his case for the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a key sticking point inhibiting progress toward a funding deal to re-open the government.

“I think things are going to be relatively choppy, but everybody had gotten so negative on the market, specifically a lot of the FAANG names,” said Dave Lutz, head of ETF trading at JonesTrading. “But we’re all headline-trading right now. If anyone told you what’s going to happen a few months from now, they’re making stuff up.”

—CNBC’s
Ryan Browne
and
Patti Domm
contributed to this report.

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Apple lays off over 200 from Project Titan autonomous vehicle group

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In August 2018, Apple enlisted a Tesla engineering vice president and Apple veteran, Doug Field, to lead the Titan team alongside Bob Mansfield. This week’s dismissals from the group were seen, internally, as anticipated restructuring under the relatively new leadership.

Other employees who were impacted by the restructuring of Project Titan are staying at Apple, but moving to different parts of the company.

Of late, Apple CEO Tim Cook has touted his company’s initiatives in health as the key to its future growth. “I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, “What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?” it will be about health,” Cook told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

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shares jump despite disappointing earnings

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Company Vice President Sean Kim said the memory demand slowdown would be bigger than expected into the first half of 2019 due to China’s economic slowdown and the U.S.-China “trade situation,” according to Reuters.

Kim’s comments came days after China announced that the country’s economic growth in 2018 was its slowest in nearly three decades. At the same time, Beijing and Washington are attempting to strike a deal amid an ongoing trade dispute which has seen the two largest economies in the world slap billions of dollars worth of tariffs on each other’s goods.

Some analysts were not surprised by the earnings report from SK Hynix.

“(The) results were as expected,” Daniel Yoo, head of global strategy at Kiwoom Securities, told CNBC in an email.

However, he warn that both SK Hynix and its rival Samsung were likely to see their operating profit for the first two quarters of 2019 coming in “less than half of last year’s record high(s).”

Yoo’s sentiments were echoed by Sanjeev Rana, a senior analyst at CLSA.

“I think we have a little bit more pain to go for the next two quarters,” Rana told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday.

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Huawei CFO extradition could be complicated: ex-US ambassador to China

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“Whenever a chief executive starts to voice his or her thoughts on the case, that’s a huge additional complication for the prosecution,” Baucus added. “In this case, it’s President Trump’s statement with respect to the Meng case … it makes it harder for the prosecution to get the extradition.”

Earlier this week, Canadian newspaper Global and Mail reported that the U.S. has told Canada it will formally request for Meng’s extradition — though no timeline was specified.

For its part, China has demanded the U.S. drop the extradition request. According to Canada, Beijing detained more than a dozen of its citizens after Meng’s arrest.

Baucus warned that if the U.S. extradition request is granted, it would have a major impact on the U.S.-China relationship.

The world’s two largest economies had been embroiled in a trade war in recent months, which roiled markets and sparked concerns over the health of the global economy. Late last year, Beijing and Washington agreed to a temporary pause on applying new tariffs in order to work out a mutually agreeable trade deal.

Huawei is one of China’s largest companies. The U.S. government has for years taken issue with the tech giant over its alleged espionage ties to the Chinese government and has accused the company of intellectual property theft.

— Reuters and CNBC’s Kate Fazzini contributed to this report.

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