Sun, Dec 02, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Wall Street soars on hope for progress

THREE KEY ISSUES:Investors are focusing on the Fed’s stance on rate hikes, the trade tension between the US and China, and developments in the oil market

Reuters, NEW YORK

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Photo: Bloomberg

Wall Street rose on Friday as investors hoped for progress on trade in a critical US-China meeting over the weekend, and the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite posted their biggest weekly percentage gains in nearly seven years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its largest weekly advance in two years.

Investors were encouraged this week by comments by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and subsequent minutes from the US central bank’s latest meeting, which suggested that the Fed will take a data-driven rather than ideological approach to rate hikes.

All three major US indices recorded modest monthly percentage gains for last month.

A Chinese official said that “consensus is steadily increasing” in trade negotiations between the US and China as the G20 meeting got under way in Buenos Aires, sparking hopes that there would be a positive resolution in the tariff dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

US President Donald Trump was yesterday to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and the outcome could swing stocks for the rest of the year.

“The three key issues that people are really focusing on are how dovish is the Fed going to be going forward, how are trade relations with China going to play out, and what’s going on in the oil markets,” said Charlie Ripley, senior market strategist for Allianz Investment Management LLC in Minneapolis.

“But as we get better news, that’s helped lift the markets,” Ripley said. “That’s why we’re seeing a week like this week.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday rose 199.62 points, or 0.79 percent, to 25,538.46, the S&P 500 gained 22.4 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,760.17 and the NASDAQ Composite added 57.45 points, or 0.79 percent, to 7,330.54.

For the week, the Dow rose 5.2 percent, S&P added 4.8 percent and the NASDAQ rose 5.6 percent.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but energy ended the session in positive territory on Friday. Energy stocks fell 0.2 percent as crude prices extended their slide.

However, falling oil prices boosted airlines stocks.

The Dow Jones Airlines index rose 2.8 percent.

Shares of Marriott International Inc sank 5.6 percent after the hotel operator said hackers stole about 500 million records from its Starwood Hotels reservation system.

General Electric Co shares slid 5.5 percent following a Wall Street Journal report that former employees are being questioned by federal investigators about the company’s failure to acknowledge its insurance business’ worsening results over the years.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a 1.17-to-1 ratio; on NASDAQ, a 1.24-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 49 new highs and 90 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 8.39 billion shares, compared with the 7.63 billion average for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

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