US markets hit record highs as investors interpret trade news

General News of Friday, 8 November 2019



A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 notched record-closing highs on Thursday as the latest signs of progress in trade relations between the United States and China relieved investors.

But a report later in the day – which raised worries about the outlook for a deal – limited the session’s gains.

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

However, indexes pared gains in afternoon trading after a Reuters news agency report said the White House’s plan to roll back China tariffs faces internal opposition and that a final decision has not been made.

An interim US-China deal is expected to include a US pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 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 of Alan B Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm based in Toledo, Ohio.

‘That’s a plus’ The S&P 500 technology index ended up 0.7 percent, with shares of Qualcomm Inc up 6.3 percent 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 up 0.7 percent.

The trade-sensitive industrials sector finished up 0.2 percent.

The Dow rose 182.24 points, or 0.66 percent, to 27,674.80. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 8.4 points, or 0.27 percent, to 3,085.18, and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.89

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