Wall Street builds on record-setting rally; FedEx drops

 Wall Street builds on record-setting rally; FedEx drops

By Uday Sampath Kumar and C Nivedita

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 inched to an all-time high on Wednesday, extending a record-setting run as optimism about global economic growth strengthens, limited somewhat by a steep drop in FedEx shares.

The Nasdaq also hit a record high. All three major indexes were on pace for their sixth straight session of gains, building on a rally from late last week spurred by expectations of an initial U.S.-China trade deal.

Analysts said the trade agreement, announced on Friday, removed a major risk for global equity markets, leaving stocks with slightly more room to rise in what is left of 2019.

"The trade truce with China has really set the backdrop for a continued move higher to the end of the year," said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer, Independent Advisor Alliance, Charlotte, North Carolina.

"I don't see a huge rally, just a slow drip."

The benchmark S&P 500 hit its fifth consecutive record high on Wednesday, its longest streak since January 2018.

However, holding back gains on the index was a 10% drop in FedEx shares after the U.S. parcel delivery company cut its fiscal 2020 profit forecast on heavy expenses, slowing global trade and the fallout from its breakup with Amazon.com Inc .

The profit warning from FedEx pressured shares of rival United Parcel Service Inc , with the Dow Jones Transport Average <.DJT> down 0.9%.

The market also largely shrugged off the near certain impeachment of Donald Trump as the House of Representatives gears up for a historic vote later in the day on two charges accusing the U.S. President of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

Trading history during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and the resignation of President Richard Nixon suggests Wall Street has little to worry about.

Facebook Inc was the biggest boost to the S&P 500 as Deutsche Bank raised its price target on the stock.

At 1:10 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 10.03 points, or 0.04%, at 28,277.19, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 2.55 points, or 0.08%, at 3,195.07 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 20.52 points, or 0.23%, at 8,843.88.

Small cap Russell 2000 <.RUT> hit its highest level in 14 months on Wednesday.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.39-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.04-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 34 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 125 new highs and 41 new lows.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath, C Nivedita and Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shinjini Ganguli)

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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2019 02:06:23 IST