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Dow climbs more than 400 points on prospects for US-China trade deal

The market dismissed President Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure a border wall, a move Democrats are challenging as unconstitutional
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Rubbermaid owner Newell Brands was the biggest loser on the S&P 500

Equities rallied Friday as investors grew confident that the trade spat between the US and China was approaching a resolution.

Trade discussions are set to kick off again next week in Washington following talks in Beijing including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The stock market dismissed President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure his plans for a border wall, a move Democrats are challenging as unconstitutional.

The Dow rose at Friday’s close 443.86 points, or 1.7%, to 25,883.25, finishing up for an eighth consecutive week. The S&P 500 Index gained 1.1% to 2,775.60.

Newell Brands Inc (NASDAQ:NWL) was the biggest loser on the S&P 500 Index, dropping 21% to $17.16 after the owner of the Rubbermaid and Elmer’s brands missed expectations for sales and provided a downbeat outlook. 

Mattel Inc (NASDAQ:MAT) tumbled 18% to $13.82 after reportedly delivering disappointing guidance for 2019 during a New York analyst meeting. Last week the company surprised investors with strong fourth-quarter results led by the iconic Barbie.

The Nasdaq advanced 0.6% to 7,472.41 while the Russell 2000 index of small-caps had a strong day, increasing 1.6% to 1,569.25.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX was up 0.9% to 15.838.24.

1:29 PM: Dow climbs by over 300 points after advances on US-China trade front

US stocks across the board continued to rally in afternoon trade, led by financial stocks, as investors grew confident that the trad spat between the US and China is nearing a resolution.

Trade discussions between the US and China are set to kick off again next week in Washington DC, following talks in Beijing being spearheaded by Steve Mnuchin, US Treasury secretary.

Markets also dismissed President Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure his plans for a border wall, a move Democrats are challenging as anti-constitutional.

At the time of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 328 points or 1.28% to 25,765, led by JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and United Technologies.

Financial stocks pushed ahead of the pack, with the S&P 500 Financials sector outperforming all the other sector indices and adding 1.79%.

The S&P 500 also shot up by 21 points or 0.75% to hit 2,766, pushed up by CenturyLink, Arista Networks, Garrett Motion and DISH Network Corp.

Elsewhere, the tech-laden Nasdaq rose by nearly 22 points to 7,448, lifted by Advanced Micro Devices, PepsiCo, Nvidia Corp and Liberty Global.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks also advanced 1.61% or 24.84 points to 1,569 while Toronto’s TSX climbed by 159 points or 1.02% to 15,855.

10 AM: US stocks open higher after US-China trade talks advance

Wall Street opened higher Friday after positive US-China trade headlines indicated the world's two largest economies will continue talks next week in Washington, with both sides saying this week's negotiations in Beijing made good progress.

Corporate earnings also continue to stimulate the stock market, with nearly 85% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization having reported fourth quarter results Friday morning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 273 points, or 1.07% to 25,700, led higher by JPMorgan Chase, United Technologies and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 also climbed 19.83 points, or 0.72% to 2,765.56. Arista Networks Inc, CenturyLink Inc, Moody’s Corp and BorgWarner were among the top boosts to the S&P 500. Arista Network rallied 10% after the computer networking company posted fourth quarter earnings that beat Wall Street analyst estimates. The company also provided positive guidance.

The Nasdaq Composite index was also in the green and hovered at 7,452.13, led higher by PepsiCo, Nvidia Corp and Marriott International.

Elsewhere, the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks rose 12.02 points, or 0.78% to 1,557.13.

7:15 AM: Wall Street set to start on front foot Friday after weak session yesterday

Wall Street shares are poised to start on the front foot on the last day of trading week as the latest talks between the US and China come to a close and traders expect another round of earnings.

In European benchmarks, stocks are higher but in Asia overnight, there were down, taking the cue after Thursday's generally weak US session and disappointing Chinese inflation data.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan shed over 239 points and the Shanghai Composite Index lost around 37.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down over 103 points at 25,439, while the Nasdaq added around six points at 7,426. The S&P 500 lost around seven at 2,745.

In futures today, the mood appears to have turned positive. The Dow futures are ahead by 31 points; the S&P 500 futures are up 3.5 and the Nasdaq futures are  ahead by 8.5 points.

Brexit worries continue to rumble on in the UK after Prime Minister Theresa May lost another vote in Parliament on her withdrawal strategy but the FTSE 100 is ahead by 32 points and the German and French benchmark indices are also higher.

High profile big bank Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) has warned that a messy Brexit could put daily payments worth more than €50 billion ($56 billion) at risk and has applied for licenses needed to continue processing cross-border payments.

In Toronto overnight, the TSX added around 69 points to close at 15,695, but the venture exchange shed around 1.5.


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