US stocks ended the first quarter on a strong note on Friday, with the S&P 500 logging its best quarter since 2009 as investors bet the United States and China will strike a deal to end their protracted trade war.
The benchmark index, which is trading 2.5 percent away from its record closing high hit in September, triggered a "golden cross" pattern, in which the 50-day moving average crosses above the 200-day moving average.
Spurring gains in global stock markets, China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly returned to growth for the first time in four months in March, in a sign that government stimulus measures may be slowly gaining traction.
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