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Wall Street rises with trade optimism, upbeat economic data

Stock Markets Nov 22, 2019 03:03PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York City
 
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By Sinéad Carew

(Reuters) - Wall Street rose on Friday with help from positive comments from Washington and Beijing about progress on efforts to reach a U.S.-China trade deal ,and from upbeat domestic economic data.

U.S. President Donald Trump told Fox News a trade deal was "potentially very close" following remarks by President Xi Jinping that Beijing wanted to work out an initial agreement.

The S&P 500 and the Dow were on track for their biggest daily gains in a lackluster week marked by uncertainty about trade. In previous days, one report suggested the delay of a trade truce to 2020, while U.S. lawmakers backed two bills backing protesters in Hong Kong.

"It's tied back to the on-again, off-again narrative that's been the consistent theme regarding a potential trade deal with China. Our President says we're on today so the market's responding accordingly," said Mike Loewengart, vice president for investment strategy at E*Trade Financial Corp in New York.

But investors were also showing skepticism as the Hong Kong situation added complexity, he said.

Meanwhile, the latest economic data underscored a resilient domestic economy as U.S. manufacturing output accelerated in November to its fastest pace in seven months and services activity picked up more than expected.

But the benchmark S&P 500 index was on course to snap its six-week winning streak, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is set for its first weekly drop in eight weeks. A largely better-than-expected third-quarter corporate earnings season has also contributed to the recent rally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 119.98 points, or 0.43%, to 27,886.27, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 6.03 points, or 0.19%, to 3,109.57 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 4.11 points, or 0.05%, to 8,510.32.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, led by a 0.68% gain in financials (SPSY).

Nordstrom Inc (N:JWN) jumped 10.2% after the retailer raised its 2019 forecast and reported third-quarter profit above expectations. Gap Inc (N:GPS) shares were up 4.5% after it beat lowered quarterly profit estimates days after the retailer cut its annual forecast and replaced its longtime chief executive officer.

Shares of Tesla Inc (O:TSLA) fell 6.3% as Wall Street questioned the look of its newly unveiled electric pickup truck, whose "armored glass" windows shattered in a demonstration.

Intuit Inc (O:INTU) dropped 5.7% after the income-tax filing software maker forecast second-quarter profit below estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.69-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.47-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 49 new highs and 73 new lows.

Wall Street rises with trade optimism, upbeat economic data
 

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