It was another record-breaking day on Wall Street as stocks surge on strong earnings and data

January 17, 2020 - 1 month ago
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U.S. stocks continued to climb, as all three major benchmarks reach new record intraday highs, following the signing of a trade truce between the U.S. and China on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Senate approved a new trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada on Thursday, a key victory for President Donald Trump as the Senate officially opened a historic impeachment trial against him.

The S&P 500 rallied through the 3,300-mark for the first time overnight, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite also surged to record highs, fueled by tech stocks, solid retail sales data and upbeat quarterly earnings from Morgan Stanley.

Strong economic data also inspired sentiment on Wall Street after the weekly jobless claims unexpectedly missed the 217,000 forecasts and fell by 13,000 to 204,000, with the previous month’s release at 214,000.

Meanwhile, retail sales climbed by 0.3% in December, matching expectations.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve business index also jumped over the 3.7 forecasts and rose to a 17.0 high in January from 0.3 posted in December.

Morgan Stanley’s three main businesses — investment management, wealth management and trading — all produced more revenue than expected in the previous quarter. The company’s stock jumped more than 6.5%. Other bank stocks, including Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase, followed Morgan Stanley higher.

So far, the earnings season is off to a solid start. Around 7% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings thus far, according to FactSet data. Of those companies, 76.5% have posted better-than-expected earnings.

The bullish sentiment on Wall Street strengthened on Wednesday after President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the so-called “Phase-One” trade deal in Washington, D.C.

As a result of the deal, U.S. exports to China should remain in theory rise to $263 billion in 2020 and $309 billion in 2021. Both figures would represent a record-breaking acceleration of U.S. exports to China.

That said, China’s other suppliers of agricultural commodities will not be impacted by the China and U.S. trade deal since buying will be based on market principles, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said, according to a report.

Elsewhere, in other trade news on Thursday, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, sending the pact to President Donald Trump to sign.

At the record close, the S&P 500 jumped +27.52 points or +0.84% to 3,316.81, breaking above 3,300 for the first time.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained +267.42 points, or +0.92% to close at 29,297.64.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced +98.44 points or +1.06% to 9,357.13 as Microsoft hit record levels while Google-parent Alphabet’s market cap topped $1 trillion for the first time.

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