Dow, S&P 500 hit record closes as investors digest trade news

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 notched record closing highs on Thursday as the latest signs of progress in U.S.-China trade relations relieved investors, but a report raising fresh worries about the outlook for a deal limited the day’s gains.

China said it had agreed with the United States to remove tariffs in phases, while state-owned Xinhua News Agency said Beijing was also considering removing restrictions on poultry imports.

But indexes pared gains in afternoon trading after a Reuters report, citing sources, said that the White House’s plan to roll back China tariffs faces internal opposition and that no final decision has been made yet.

An interim U.S.-China trade deal is expected to include a U.S. pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15.

“Any kind of uncertainty there, with the market at all-time highs, and it’s easy for traders and institutions to press the sell button and take some money off the table,” said Alan Lancz, president, Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm, based in Toledo, Ohio.

The latest batch of earnings offered some upbeat news.

The S&P 500 technology index .SPLRCT ended up 0.7%, with shares of Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) up 6.3% after it forecast current-quarter profit above analysts’ estimates.

Together with Qualcomm, other chipmakers, which have a sizeable exposure to China, also rose, propping the Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX up 0.7%.

The trade-sensitive industrials sector .SPLRCI finished up 0.2%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 182.24 points, or 0.66%, to 27,674.8, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 8.4 points, or 0.27%, to 3,085.18 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 23.89 points, or 0.28%, to 8,434.52.

The day’s gains resumed the recent record run for stocks, which have been bolstered, along with trade deal hopes, by some upbeat earnings.

“Corporate earnings,

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