Wall Street at record highs as year-end rally continues
By Manas Mishra (Reuters) - U.S.
By Manas Mishra
(Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes rose slightly on Friday, continuing a year-end record rally that has been fueled by optimism over a U.S.-China trade truce and an improving global economy.
The benchmark S&P 500 index <.SPX> is about half a percentage point shy of logging its best year since 1997. The Nasdaq <.IXIC> crossed the 9,000 point mark for the first time on Thursday.
While Wall Street's main indexes pulled back briefly from their record opening levels, they were back at all-time highs.
"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."
Robust U.S. economic data, relatively loose monetary policy and hopes of an imminent trade truce between Beijing and Washington have sent U.S. stock indexes to multiple record highs this month.
The world's top two economies announced their Phase 1 deal earlier this month, but have since disclosed few concrete details. Beijing said this week it was in close contact with Washington on the pact.
Signaling a resilience in the 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 domestic demand remains a risk for company earnings next year.
At 11:25 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 68.95 points, or 0.24%, at 28,690.34, the S&P 500 was up 4.63 points, or 0.14%, at 3,244.54. The Nasdaq Composite was up 5.44 points, or 0.06%, at 9,027.83.
Shares of Amazon Inc
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.33-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 53 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 17 new lows.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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
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.