Canada's main stock index in record territory, U.S. stock markets also gain

TORONTO — North American stock markets again extended their record-setting streaks on reduced trade tensions and positive economic data on both sides of the border.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 69.60 points to a record close of 17,484.77.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 267.42 points at 29,297.64. The S&P 500 index was up 27.52 points at 3,316.81, while the Nasdaq composite was up 98.44 points at 9,357.13.

The Canadian dollar traded for 76.66 cents US compared with an average of 76.63 cents US on Wednesday.

The March crude contract was up 69 cents at US$58.53 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down 4.3 cents at US$2.08 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was down US$3.50 at US$1,550.50 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 1.9 cents at US$2.85 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.

Home Depot, Apple Inc. share gains lead Dow's 161-point jump

Shares of Home Depot and Apple Inc. are trading higher Thursday morning, propelling the Dow Jones Industrial Average into positive territory. Shares of Home Depot HD, +1.88% and Apple Inc. AAPL, +1.25% have contributed to the blue-chip gauge’s intraday rally, as the Dow DJIA, +0.92% is trading 161 points (0.6%) higher. Home Depot’s shares are up $2.66 (1.2%) while those of Apple Inc. have risen $3.57 (1.1%), combining for a roughly 42-point bump for the Dow. Other components contributing significantly to the gain include UnitedHealth UNH, +1.46%, Goldman Sachs GS, +1.84%, and Dow Inc. DOW, +0.40%. A $1 move in any one of the 30 components of the Dow results in a 6.78-point swing.

Editor’s Note: This story was auto-generated by Automated Insights using data from Dow Jones and FactSet. See our market data terms of use.

Dow's 75-point climb led by gains in UnitedHealth, Pfizer stocks

Shares of UnitedHealth and Pfizer are posting positive growth Wednesday morning, propelling the Dow Jones Industrial Average into positive territory. Shares of UnitedHealth UNH, +1.46% and Pfizer PFE, -0.15% are contributing to the index’s intraday rally, as the Dow DJIA, +0.92% is trading 78 points, or 0.3%, higher. UnitedHealth’s shares have gained $5.62, or 1.9%, while those of Pfizer are up $0.57, or 1.4%, combining for a roughly 42-point boost for the Dow. Merck MRK, -0.39%, Coca-Cola KO, +0.21%, and Procter & Gamble PG, +0.09% are also contributing significantly to the gain. A $1 move in any of the index’s 30 components results in a 6.78-point swing.

Editor’s Note: This story was auto-generated by Automated Insights using data from Dow Jones and FactSet. See our market data terms of use.

'Inequality in a nutshell': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the Dow's record high is meaningless for many Americans

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez 2
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez 2

AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued in a tweet on Saturday that a record high for the Dow Jones industrial average, a benchmark index of 30 blue-chip stocks including Apple, Nike, and Disney, underlined the problem of stagnant US wages and the wealth gap between investors and salaried workers.

“The Dow soars, wages don’t,” the New York congresswoman commented on an NBC News tweet about the index passing the 29,000 mark for the first time on Friday. “Inequality in a nutshell.”

Ocasio-Cortez was likely referring to the widening gap between US stock-market gains and wage growth in recent years. The Dow surged about 22% in 2019, but average hourly earnings, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, rose just 2.9%.

Stagnant US wages have puzzled many economists, given that unemployment has plunged to its lowest levels in more than 50 years.

President Donald Trump has frequently touted the rising US stock market as evidence of a booming economy and as a boon for all Americans. However, Ocasio-Cortez has downplayed the relevance of stock-market gains to salaried workers who don’t own stocks.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says these 15 stocks are poised to explode higher as the economy thrives, based on an exclusive metric it developed

“The stock market is NOT the economy,” she tweeted in February 2018. “Stocks aren’t jobs. Stocks aren’t wages.

“That’s why stock prices can go up and normal people still won’t feel any more secure about their future,” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on the inequality between workers and investors echoed those of Bill Gates. The Microsoft cofounder and billionaire philanthropist recently called for the US government to narrow the wealth gap by shifting its focus from taxing incomes to taxing investments and assets.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Goldman Sachs, Dow Inc. share gains contribute to Dow's 75-point jump

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is climbing Monday afternoon with shares of Goldman Sachs and Dow Inc. leading the way for the blue-chip average. Shares of Goldman Sachs GS, +0.18% and Dow Inc. DOW, -0.21% have contributed to the blue-chip gauge’s intraday rally, as the Dow DJIA, +0.11% is trading 77 points (0.3%) higher. Goldman Sachs’s shares are up $3.50, or 1.4%, while those of Dow Inc. are up $0.68, or 1.3%, combining for an approximately 28-point boost for the Dow. Also contributing significantly to the gain are American Express AXP, +0.20%, Cisco CSCO, -0.38%, and Intel INTC, -0.27%. A $1 move in any one of the 30 components of the benchmark equates to a 6.78-point swing.

Editor’s Note: This story was auto-generated by Automated Insights using data from Dow Jones and FactSet. See our market data terms of use.

Wall Street Hits New Record Highs as Trade Optimism Persists

U.S. stocks hit record closing highs again on Friday and the S&P 500 registered its biggest weekly percentage gain since early September after data showed a rise in consumer spending and investors continued to be optimistic about developments in the U.S.-China trade dispute.

President Donald Trump claimed progress on issues from trade to North Korea and Hong Kong after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping, dispelling fears of another escalation in the two countries’ trade war.

The S&P 500 also hit a seventh straight intraday all-time high in its longest streak of record intraday highs since October 2017, and the Nasdaq ended with gains for an eighth session in a row.

“This time of year tends to be a tailwind for the market,” said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina, who helps manage about $950 million.

“There’s nothing obvious between now and the end of the year that would change the direction we’re headed. So it’s kind of a melt-up.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78.13 points, or 0.28%, to 28,455.09, the S&P 500 gained 15.85 points, or 0.49%, to 3,221.22 and the Nasdaq Composite added 37.74 points, or 0.42%, to 8,924.96.

The S&P 500 rose for a fourth straight week, gaining 1.7% for the week, its biggest weekly gain since early September.

Consumer spending, a key to U.S. economic growth and a major focus for investors, rose 0.4% in November, adding to a string of upbeat data that have helped put a damper on recession fears, which dogged markets earlier this year.

Volume on U.S. exchanges hit the highest in a year, boosted by “quadruple witching,” in which investors unwind positions in futures and options contracts before their expiration. About 11.53 billion shares changed hands on Friday.

Nike Inc was down 1.2% after the world’s largest sportswear maker reported lower-than-expected growth in revenue from North America.

Cruise operators were among top percentage gainers in the S&P 500, led by Carnival Corp, which jumped 7.6% after forecasting a 2020 profit largely above estimates.

On the flip side, shares of U.S. Steel Corp tumbled 10.8% after the company said it expects a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss.

The recent record run could make it harder for stocks to rally once the next earnings season begins, Todd said, noting that “there could be increased volatility.”

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.60-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.39-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 77 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 199 new highs and 38 new lows.

Asian shares up as 'phase one' trade deal boosts confidence

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A broad gauge of Asian share markets hit nearly eight-month highs on Monday after the United States and China agreed a preliminary trade deal, and amid policy-easing hopes in Australia, but profit-taking and caution over the deal’s details capped gains.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Sunday said a deal was “totally done”, notwithstanding some needed revisions, and would nearly double U.S. exports to China over the next two years.

Positive sentiment helped push the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan to its highest level since April 18. It was last up 0.35%.

Australia’s led the way as it jumped 1.74%, while shares in Taiwan added 0.23%.

Ryan Felsman, senior economist at CommSec in Sydney, said that the trade deal and the receding risk of a disorderly Brexit after the UK general election produced a strong Conservative majority provided support for sentiment in Australia.

A lower-than-expected Australian budget surplus due to a sluggish economy has “built expectations by markets for further easing from the Reserve Bank (of Australia),” he said, explaining the strong performance of shares.

Chinese investors had a more tepid reaction to the trade news, with the blue-chip CSI300 index finding little impetus to rise further after trade hopes fanned a nearly 2% rise on Friday, despite data showing the country’s industrial output growth and retail sales jumped more than expected in November.

The CSI300 index was down 0.01% at the midday break.

Japan’s succumbed to some profit-taking, easing 0.05% after surging 2.55% to a 14-month closing high on Friday.

The “phase one” agreement suspended a threatened round of U.S. tariffs on a $160 billion list of Chinese imports that was scheduled to take effect on Sunday. The United States also agreed to halve the tariff rate, to 7.5%, on $120 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Felsman at CommSec said the deal was a positive factor in the market, but investors awaited further details. The reduction in U.S. tariffs may have also disappointed some investors looking for more aggressive action, he added.

“Certainly there were expectations perhaps that the rollback would be more significant than just 50%,” he said.

The 17-month-old trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled financial markets and taken a toll on world economic growth.

“The announcement is a step in the right direction for the two nations, but does not completely reduce the chances of trade disputes between the two nations in the year,” ANZ analysts said in a morning note.

U.S. shares had struck a cautious note on Friday, paring initial gains to end barely higher as weary investors awaited signs of a concrete deal.

However, the news of a deal was still enough to send the to a record closing high of 3,168.8, up 0.01%. The added 0.2% to end at 8,734.88, also a record, and the rose 0.01% to 28,135.38.

U.S. Treasury yields moved higher on Monday, reflecting a more positive mood. Benchmark rose to 1.84% compared with their U.S. close of 1.821% on Friday, and the two-year yield touched 1.6221% compared with a U.S. close of 1.604%.

The dollar was slightly higher against the yen at 109.38 and the euro was up 0.12% at $1.1132. Sterling, which jumped last week after the UK election, gained 0.48% to $1.3389.

The , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.11% at 97.067.

Oil prices, which had risen on Friday following the deal, cooled in early Asian trade on Monday. shed 0.37% to $64.98 per barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.40% at $59.83 per barrel.

prices fell 0.06%, with the precious metal trading hands at $1,474.63 per ounce.

Asian shares rise as 'phase one' trade deal fans confidence

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian shares ticked higher on Monday as investors cheered an announced trade agreement between Beijing and Washington over the weekend although jubilation was capped by prevailing scepticism about the deal.

FILE PHOTO: A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Sunday said a deal was “totally done”, notwithstanding some needed revisions, and would nearly double U.S. exports to China over the next two years.

That helped push the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which had touched its highest level since April 24 on Friday, up 0.21%.

Australian shares jumped, adding 1.23%. But Japan’s Nikkei 225 pulled back 0.21% after a strong rally on Friday that pushed the index to a 14-month high.

The small drop in Japanese shares also reflected continued investor trepidation over the specifics of the trade deal.

“The announcement is a step in the right direction for the two nations, but does not completely reduce the chances of trade disputes between the two nations in the year,” ANZ analysts said in a morning note.

The “phase one” agreement came ahead of the deadline on Sunday for a new round of U.S. tariffs on almost $160 billion of Chinese imports. The 17-month-old trade dispute has roiled financial markets and taken a toll on world economic growth.

U.S. shares had struck a cautious note on Friday, paring initial gains to end barely higher as weary investors await signs of a concrete deal.

However, the news of a deal was still enough to send the S&P 500 to a record closing high of 3,168.8, up 0.01%. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.2% to end at 8,734.88, also a record, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.01% to 28,135.38.

U.S. Treasury yields moved higher on Monday, reflecting the positive mood. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 1.8365% compared with its U.S. close of 1.821% on Friday and the two-year yield touched 1.616% compared with a U.S. close of 1.604%.

The dollar rose 0.05% against the yen to 109.403 and the euro was slightly higher at $1.1123. Sterling, which jumped last week after the UK general election produced a strong Conservative majority, notched up 0.23% to $1.3356.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was down at 97.140.

Oil prices, which had risen on Friday following the deal, cooled in early Asian trade on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.38% at $59.84 per barrel.

Spot gold prices fell 0.1%, with the precious medal trading hands at $1,473.88 per ounce.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sam Holmes

Dow Jones Industrial Average Rose Slightly as a China Trade Deal Is So Yesterday – Barron's

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed a small gain on Friday. Illustration by Michael George Haddad

Deal Day. All three major stock indexes closed with minor gains on Friday, after rising in the previous session. A “phase one” trade deal between the U.S. and China has finally arrived. The U.K. will likely leave the European Union as Thursday’s election result promised an end to wrangling over Brexit. Still, investors aren’t too upbeat as November’s retail sales came lower than expected. In today’s After the Bell, we…

  • check what’s in the offering for a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal;
  • wonder where the U.K.’s future stands after the Brexit;
  • and explain why retail sales fell short in November despite a strong Black Friday weekend.

The End of Two Fights

Stocks were largely flat on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 3.33 points, or 0.01%, to 28,135.38. The S&P 500 edged up 0.23 points, or 0.01%, to 3168.80, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 17.56 points, or 0.20%, to 8734.88.

Beijing and Washington finally announced a “phase one” trade deal after weeks of negotiations back and forth. The U.S. will drop plans for the new 15% tariff on $156 billion of Chinese goods, originally set to take effect on Sunday. 30 days after signing the deal, Washington will also cut the existing tariffs on about $120 billion worth of Chinese goods to 7.5%, half the previous level of 15%.

In exchange, China has agreed to buy $200 billion of U.S. products over the next two years, including $40 billion to $50 billion in agricultural goods. Beijing has also made concessions on intellectual property protections, forced tech transfers, as well as currency and financial-services market.

Still, the 25% U.S. tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods will remain in effect to ensure the Chinese follow through on their commitments under the deal. The two sides plan to sign the deal in January and said that the “phase two” talks will begin immediately.

Investors yawned at the news, as a deal has lingered in their imaginations over the past few months, and the negotiators didn’t disclose many details that haven’t been reported.

Across the Atlantic from the U.S., another dragged-out negotiation seems to be coming to an end, as well. In the U.K. general election on Thursday, the Conservative Party led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a majority of 80 seats in the new Parliament, which means the legislators will most likely vote to approve the Brexit deal Johnson has already struck with the European Union. If everything goes as expected, the U.K. should be out of the EU by the end of January, more than three years after the country voted to leave the bloc in 2016.

Editor’s Choice

To celebrate the ending of a long-running political crisis, the British pound jumped more than 1% against the dollar since Thursday night, and the FTSE 100 index was up 1.1% on Friday. Still, looking beyond January, Johnson will now enter negotiations with the EU over the U.K.’s future relationship with its neighbors regarding trade and the financial market. That should still leave massive uncertainty hanging over its economy.

Sales at U.S. retailers rose by 0.2% in November, down from October’s 0.4% gain, and missed the consensus expectation for 0.5% growth. Online retailers such as Amazon.com (ticker: AMZN) and electronics retailers such as Best Buy (BBY) fared the best, while the sector in general lagged behind.

But the latest data shouldn’t be too worrisome, at least not yet. Since this year’s Thanksgiving came later than usual, part of the Black Friday weekend for holiday shopping was pushed into December. Cyber Monday took place on Dec. 2, and that means the next report might come in better than expected.

Write to Evie Liu at evie.liu@barrons.com

Dow Jones Industrial Average Rose Slightly as a China Trade Deal Is So Yesterday – Barron's

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed a small gain on Friday. Illustration by Michael George Haddad

Deal Day. All three major stock indexes closed with minor gains on Friday, after rising in the previous session. A “phase one” trade deal between the U.S. and China has finally arrived. The U.K. will likely leave the European Union as Thursday’s election result promised an end to wrangling over Brexit. Still, investors aren’t too upbeat as November’s retail sales came lower than expected. In today’s After the Bell, we…

  • check what’s in the offering for a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal;
  • wonder where the U.K.’s future stands after the Brexit;
  • and explain why retail sales fell short in November despite a strong Black Friday weekend.

The End of Two Fights

Stocks were largely flat on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 3.33 points, or 0.01%, to 28,135.38. The S&P 500 edged up 0.23 points, or 0.01%, to 3168.80, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 17.56 points, or 0.20%, to 8734.88.

Beijing and Washington finally announced a “phase one” trade deal after weeks of negotiations back and forth. The U.S. will drop plans for the new 15% tariff on $156 billion of Chinese goods, originally set to take effect on Sunday. 30 days after signing the deal, Washington will also cut the existing tariffs on about $120 billion worth of Chinese goods to 7.5%, half the previous level of 15%.

In exchange, China has agreed to buy $200 billion of U.S. products over the next two years, including $40 billion to $50 billion in agricultural goods. Beijing has also made concessions on intellectual property protections, forced tech transfers, as well as currency and financial-services market.

Still, the 25% U.S. tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods will remain in effect to ensure the Chinese follow through on their commitments under the deal. The two sides plan to sign the deal in January and said that the “phase two” talks will begin immediately.

Investors yawned at the news, as a deal has lingered in their imaginations over the past few months, and the negotiators didn’t disclose many details that haven’t been reported.

Across the Atlantic from the U.S., another dragged-out negotiation seems to be coming to an end, as well. In the U.K. general election on Thursday, the Conservative Party led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a majority of 80 seats in the new Parliament, which means the legislators will most likely vote to approve the Brexit deal Johnson has already struck with the European Union. If everything goes as expected, the U.K. should be out of the EU by the end of January, more than three years after the country voted to leave the bloc in 2016.

Editor’s Choice

To celebrate the ending of a long-running political crisis, the British pound jumped more than 1% against the dollar since Thursday night, and the FTSE 100 index was up 1.1% on Friday. Still, looking beyond January, Johnson will now enter negotiations with the EU over the U.K.’s future relationship with its neighbors regarding trade and the financial market. That should still leave massive uncertainty hanging over its economy.

Sales at U.S. retailers rose by 0.2% in November, down from October’s 0.4% gain, and missed the consensus expectation for 0.5% growth. Online retailers such as Amazon.com (ticker: AMZN) and electronics retailers such as Best Buy (BBY) fared the best, while the sector in general lagged behind.

But the latest data shouldn’t be too worrisome, at least not yet. Since this year’s Thanksgiving came later than usual, part of the Black Friday weekend for holiday shopping was pushed into December. Cyber Monday took place on Dec. 2, and that means the next report might come in better than expected.

Write to Evie Liu at evie.liu@barrons.com