U.S. equity indexes closed slightly higher on Thursday as traders exercised cautious optimism a trade deal with China will occur and mulled a slew of generally favorable economic data in the U.S.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 28.01 points to 27,677.79 while the S&P 500 edged up 4.67 points to 3,117.43 and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 4.03 points to 8,570.7.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 2.62 billion shares with 1,534 issues advancing, 59 setting new highs, and 1,408 declining, with 23 setting new lows.

Active movers were led by NIO (NIO), Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUPH) and General Electric (GE).

Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, said Thursday that trade talks are progressing, but added that China insists on a reduction of tariffs.

“Progress on U.S.-China trade discussions needs to come sooner rather than later if economic growth or corporate profits are going to improve in 2020,” John Lynch, Chief Investment Strategist for LPL Financial, said.

Economic data in U.S. were generally positive.

The U.S. trade deficit fell almost 8% in October to a 16-month low.

Initial jobless claims fell unexpectedly by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 203,000 for the week ended Nov. 30, the lowest such level since April. Economists had forecast claims rising to 215,000.

U.S factory orders rose 0.3% in October, the first such gain in three months. Economists had expected a 0.2% rise.

“The economy’s recession scare is history with the labor markets strong as a bull, and the narrowing of the trade deficit helping the economy to grow at least 1.5% this quarter,” MUFG chief economist Chris Rupkey said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meeting in Vienna, is seeking to reduce crude oil output by an additional 500,000 barrels a day to support prices.

The pound sterling could reach $1.35 if Conservatives win Britain’s Dec. 12 general election and Parliament passes a Brexit deal, said UBS.

Saudi Aramco had the biggest initial public offering in history, with its value pegged at $1.7 trillion.

Overnight in Asia, markets all finished higher. The Hang Seng rose 0.59% while Japan’s Nikkei-225 climbed 0.71% and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.74%

European markets were mostly lower with the FTSE 100 down 0.7% while Germany's DAX fell 0.65% and France's CAC 40 edged up 0.03%.

Crude oil futures slipped 0.09% to $58.38 per barrel and Brent crude edged down 0.03% at $63.37. Gold futures gained 0.05%.

The euro rose 0.25% to $1.104 while the pound sterling rose 0.4% at $1.3158.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 0.9% to 1.797% while yield on the 30-year Treasury gained 0.81% to 2.247%.