Wall Street sets records again as Mnuchin says trade deal to be signed

By April Joyner NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes resumed their rally with fresh records on Thursday as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said an initial U.S.-China trade deal would be signed in early January

Reuters December 20, 2019 02:06:54 IST
Wall Street sets records again as Mnuchin says trade deal to be signed

Wall Street sets records again as Mnuchin says trade deal to be signed

By April Joyner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes resumed their rally with fresh records on Thursday as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said an initial U.S.-China trade deal would be signed in early January.

The benchmark S&P 500 hit a sixth straight record high, its longest streak since January 2018. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also touched new highs.

Mnuchin's comments bolstered the optimism that has carried U.S. stocks higher since a trade agreement was announced last week. In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Mnuchin said the agreement had already been put down on paper and translated, and it would not be subject to renegotiation.

The comments relieved some concerns that disagreements between Washington and Beijing could once again keep the trade deal from being finalised, said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management in Milwaukee.

"The political risk is seeping out of the market," he said.

Further boosting optimism around the strength of the U.S. economy and labour market, data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropping from more than a two-year high last week.

The market shrugged off U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment, as the Republican-controlled Senate is widely expected not to remove him from office.

(GRAPHIC: S&P 500 record highs - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/buzzifr/15/3304/3304/gateway%20(2).jpg)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 131.66 points, or 0.47%, to 28,370.94, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 13.92 points, or 0.44%, to 3,205.06 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 53.17 points, or 0.6%, to 8,880.91.

Conagra Brands Inc shares jumped 17.2% after the Slim Jim maker beat quarterly sales and profit estimates.

Conagra's results also lifted other packaged food makers and helped the S&P 500 consumer staples index <.SPLRCS> advance 0.7%.

Micron Technology Inc shares gained 3.3% after the chipmaker signalled a recovery in its business in 2020 and said it had received licenses to supply some products to Huawei.

Cisco Systems Inc shares rose 2.7% after Barclays upgraded its rating on the networking equipment company's stock.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.64-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.49-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 38 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 118 new highs and 33 new lows.

(Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Uday Sampath and Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Chizu Nomiyama)

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.