By Manas Mishra
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow inched to fresh record highs on Friday, as hopes of an imminent U.S.-China trade deal and an improving global economy continued to fuel a year-end rally.
The benchmark index <.SPX>, which is about half a percentage point shy of logging its best year since 1997, has hit several records this month, on hopes of an imminent truce between the world's two largest economies.
China and the United States announced a Phase 1 deal earlier this month, but have since disclosed few concrete details. Beijing said this week it was in close contact with Washington regarding the trade pact.
Wall Street's main indexes pared gains after opening at record highs, with the Nasdaq <.IXIC> flitting between gains and losses.
"We've had such a long run so far that it now feels a bit overstretched," said Katrina Lamb, head of investment strategy and research at MV Financial, in Bethesda, Maryland.
"These moves are expected in the absence of anything earth-shaking happening."
Pointing to a resilient global economy, data on Friday showed profits at China's industrial firms grew at the fastest pace in eight months in November, but broad weakness in the country's domestic demand remains a risk for company earnings next year.
At 12:42 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 53.50 points, or 0.19%, at 28,674.89, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 1.68 points, or 0.05%, at 3,241.59. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 9.77 points, or 0.11%, at 9,012.62.
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Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.41-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 56 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 77 new highs and 18 new lows.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta)
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Updated Date: Dec 28, 2019 01:06:21 IST