S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records ahead of US-China trade deal

S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records ahead of US-China trade deal

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 and Nasdaq surged to fresh records on Monday (Jan 13) amid enthusiasm at the impending signing of the US-China trade deal.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 0.7 per cent to 3,288.13, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.0 per cent to end 9,273.93, both eclipsing all-time highs reached last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.3 per cent to 28,907.05 two days before President Donald Trump is due to sign a "phase one" agreement with Beijing.

Stocks were in positive territory the whole session, gaining ground following a report that the US would formally retract its accusation that China manipulates its currency to gain unfair trade advantages.

"We enter the week with some enthusiasm at getting the phase one deal signed," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, adding that investors were also hopeful that an upcoming trove of banking earnings would be good.

Earnings season begins in earnest Tuesday with reports from JPMorgan Chase and other large banks.

Companies in the S&P 500 are projected to report a 2.0 per cent drop in earnings for the quarter, according to Factset.

The improved state of US-China trade relations has been a key factor in boosting stocks, along with solid economic data and accommodative monetary policy.

Large technology companies helped lead the market, with Apple winning 2.1 percent, Facebook 1.8 per cent and Netflix 3.0 per cent. Tesla jumped nearly 10 per cent following an upgrade from Oppenheimer.

Lululemon Athletica advanced 4.4 per cent as it lifted its fourth-quarter profit forecast, describing a strong holiday shopping season.

But Five Below, a retailer focused on teens and other younger shoppers, plummeted 11.4 per cent as it cited disappointing holiday sales.

Woodward and Hexcel, two suppliers in the aerospace industry, both advanced after announcing a merger of equals between the companies.

Combining the companies will boost research capacities and improve financial position, the companies said. Woodward gained 4.8 per cent and Hexcel surged 9.6 per cent.

Source: AFP/ec