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US stocks end at records again on trade talk optimism

US stocks end at records again on trade talk optimism

Signage of Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange.

NEW YORK: Major US stock indices closed at records for the second straight session on Tuesday (Nov 26) as optimism over US-China trade talks offset a somewhat lower consumer confidence reading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 55.21 points (0.20 per cent) to 28,121.68.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 6.87 points (0.22 per cent) to 3,140.51, along with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index, which stood at 8,647.93.

All three indices also ended at records on Monday.

Analysts pointed to reports in Chinese state media that depicted the long-running trade talks as still on track to finalise a "phase one agreement."

US President Donald Trump also suggested there was progress, saying "we're in the final throes of a very important deal."

The ups and downs of the trade talks have affected US stocks for more than a year. In recent days, analysts have investors' fear of missing out on further market gains as a factor in pushing stocks upward.

Data from the Conference Board estimated consumer confidence in November at 125.5, below the October level and under expectations.

However, analysts noted that the reading - which includes part of the key holiday shopping season - was still relatively high by historic standards.

Among individual companies, Best Buy surged almost 10 per cent as it reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and offered an upbeat outlook on the holiday season.

But Dollar Tree sank 15.2 per cent as third-quarter profits lagged analyst expectations. The company's press release cited a number of challenges, including continued uncertainty on trade.

HP Inc fell 0.5 per cent as Xerox announced it planned to take a hostile takeover offer directly to HP shareholders. The move sets up a proxy fight for control of HP, which has said Xerox' US$33 billion offer "significantly undervalues" the company. Xerox dropped 1.2 per cent.

Source: AFP/de

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