Indexes hit closing records amid further trade deal optimism

Indexes hit closing records amid further trade deal optimism

Wall Street's three main indexes hit record highs on Monday, lifted by gains in energy and technology stocks on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal and an improving domestic economy.

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK: All three major U.S. stock indexes posted record closing highs on Monday, extending a recent run of gains on further hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal.

It was the second consecutive session of closing records for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, and the first closing record for the Dow since July.

After U.S. officials indicated on Friday that a trade deal with China could be signed this month, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday that licenses for U.S. companies to sell components to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd would come "very shortly."

In May, Huawei, the world's largest telecoms equipment provider, was put under a U.S. blacklist citing national security concerns.

Sectors considered among the most sensitive to the trade war climbed. The S&P 500 technology index rose 0.6per cent, the Philadelphia Semiconductor index hit a record high and the S&P industrials index climbed 1.2per cent.

Optimism about progress with China after Friday's market highs is "making it easier for investors to continue buying and climbing a wall of worry," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Energy shares jumped along with gains in oil prices, with the S&P 500 energy index rising 3.2per cent, while the S&P 500 financial index climbed 0.9per cent, helped by shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc after it topped expectations for quarterly operating profit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 114.75 points, or 0.42per cent, to 27,462.11, the S&P 500 gained 11.36 points, or 0.37per cent, to 3,078.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.80 points, or 0.56per cent, to 8,433.20.

Last week's interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, hopes of a trade deal and a better-than-feared October jobs growth report have been the main catalysts of the recent rally.

Limiting the day's gains was a roughly 2.7per cent drop in shares of McDonald's Corp , which dismissed Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook over a consensual relationship with an employee.

The third-quarter earnings season has been fairly upbeat, with the majority of S&P 500 companies beating profit expectations so far, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Under Armour Inc shares fell 18.9per cent on Monday as the sportswear maker lowered its full-year revenue forecast for a second time this year, a day after it confirmed a federal probe related to its accounting practices.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.69-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.62-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 68 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 143 new highs and 38 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.53 billion shares, compared to the 6.55 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

(Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot)

Source: Reuters