US-China trade deal optimism pushes US markets to record high

Stocks in the United States are on a record-setting pace: Trade-exposed tech stocks jump

    The Dow surpassed its November closing high, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq marked record closes for the third straight session [File: Brendan McDermid/Reuters]
    The Dow surpassed its November closing high, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq marked record closes for the third straight session [File: Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

    Wall Street stocks notched record closing highs on Monday as cooling trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and upbeat economic data from China boosted investor sentiment.

    The Dow surpassed its November closing high, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq marked record closes for the third straight session.

    Friday's announcement of an interim trade deal between the world's two biggest economies has lifted prospects for the global economy, several analysts said. Although growth in China is expected to continue moderating, the trade developments brightened the country's economic outlook.

    Adding to the optimism, data released early on Monday showed China's industrial output and retail sales growth accelerated in November.

    The United States-China trade deal suspended tariffs scheduled to take effect on December 15 on a variety of consumer products, including Apple Inc's iPhone. Apple shares rose 1.7 percent and provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

    Shares of chipmakers, among the most trade-sensitive stocks, also rose. The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index gained 1.0 percent.

    "It validates the best-case scenario people were expecting," Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York, said of the removal of tariffs.

    Accommodative monetary policy by the Federal Reserve this year and mostly encouraging US economic data have also helped push Wall Street stocks to record levels. The benchmark S&P 500 index is up more than 27percent this year and on track for its highest annual percentage gain in six years.

    "The Fed is increasing the size of its balance sheet, and that generally translates to a good equity market," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management in Chicago. "I'm not sure we need much more."

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 100.51 points, or 0.36 percent, to 28,235.89, the S&P 500 gained 22.65 points, or 0.71 percent, to 3,191.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 79.35 points, or 0.91 percent, to 8,814.23.

    Shares of UnitedHealth Group and Amgen Inc jumped after Goldman Sachs added both companies to its "conviction list". UnitedHealth shares rose 2.3 percent, and Amgen shares moved 2.7 percent higher.
    Boeing Co shares fell 4.3 percent, limiting gains on the Dow, on reports that the plane-maker was considering whether to cut or halt production of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft.

    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.39-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.65-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

    The S&P 500 posted 77 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 225 new highs and 54 new lows.

    Volume on US exchanges was 7.48 billion shares, compared with the 6.85 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency