Disney lifts Dow, S&P 500 to records while trade tensions cast shadow

By Lewis Krauskopf (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted record closing highs on Wednesday helped by a big jump in Walt Disney shares, but the Nasdaq fell as stocks were kept in check by fresh uncertainty over U.S.-China trade relations. The Wall Street Journal reported during the session that U.S.-China trade negotiations have hit a snag over farm purchases, the latest development in a dispute between the two countries that has convulsed markets for more than a year. The three indexes had all drifted higher earlier in the day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said U.S

Reuters November 14, 2019 04:06:12 IST
Disney lifts Dow, S&P 500 to records while trade tensions cast shadow

Disney lifts Dow SP 500 to records while trade tensions cast shadow

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted record closing highs on Wednesday helped by a big jump in Walt Disney shares, but the Nasdaq fell as stocks were kept in check by fresh uncertainty over U.S.-China trade relations.

The Wall Street Journal reported during the session that U.S.-China trade negotiations have hit a snag over farm purchases, the latest development in a dispute between the two countries that has convulsed markets for more than a year.

The three indexes had all drifted higher earlier in the day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said U.S. central bankers see a "sustained expansion" ahead for the country's economy.

Stocks have recently climbed to record levels, fuelled by Fed interest rate cuts, third-quarter earnings exceeding low expectations and signs the economy is bottoming. But questions about an initial agreement to help resolve the U.S.-China trade dispute remain a key wild card.

“It’s still about China and investors trying to decide whether there’s a deal coming or not," said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

"It’s really left investors uncertain," Meckler said. "They don’t want to sell into a possible announced deal, but they also don’t want to get whipsawed by, again, some disappointment over it."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 92.1 points, or 0.33%, to 27,783.59, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 2.2 points, or 0.07%, to 3,094.04 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 3.99 points, or 0.05%, to 8,482.10.

Among the S&P 500 sectors, traditionally defensive groups such as utilities <.SPLRCU>, real estate <.SPLRCR> and consumer staples <.SPLRCS> ended sharply positive, while cyclical sectors, such as financials <.SPSY>, energy <.SPNY> and materials <.SPLRCM>, which are known for tracking the health of the economy, lagged.

"The leadership today is defensive," said Mona Mahajan, U.S. investment strategist with Allianz Global Investors.

Investors also had their eyes on geopolitical developments, including presidential impeachment hearings in the United States and protests in Hong Kong.

Walt Disney Co shares jumped 7.3% after the media company said its new streaming service, Disney+, had reached 10 million sign-ups since launching the previous day. Disney shares provided the biggest boost to the Dow and the S&P 500.

Shares of streaming rival Netflix Inc sank 3.0%.

SmileDirectClub Inc shares slumped 20.3% after the teeth alignment company reported a bigger quarterly loss.

About three-fourths of S&P 500 companies have topped earnings estimates in their third-quarter reports, but the companies are still expected to have posted an overall 0.5% decline in earnings, according to Refinitiv data.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.35-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 77 new highs and 124 new lows.

About 6.8 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, roughly in line with the daily average over the last 20 sessions.

(Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Sonya Hepinstall)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.