Tech rally, trade hopes boost Wall Street to record highs

This post was originally published on this site

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks hit record highs on Thursday as Middle East tensions eased, optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal rose and several brokerages boosted price targets on high-profile companies.

The biggest boosts to the main indexes were Facebook Inc (O:), Apple Inc (O:), Inc (O:), Alphabet Inc (O:) and Microsoft Corp (O:) which rose between 0.7% and 1.5%.

Apple gained on twin support from data showing iPhone sales jumped more than 18% in China in December as well as a price target hike by Jefferies on exceptions of a strong finish to 2019.

Cowen Equity Research raised its price target on Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter (N:) after its survey of U.S. ad buyers showed upbeat spending in 2020. Technology stocks () rose 0.9%, the most among the major S&P sectors.

After a wobbly start to the new year on fears of an all-out conflict in the Middle East, nerves eased on Wednesday as Washington and Tehran looked to defuse the crisis after Iran’s retaliatory attack following the killing of a top general.

Further aiding the sentiment, China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that Vice Premier Liu He will sign a Phase 1 trade deal in Washington next week, raising hopes that a prolonged tariff war between the two sides will come to a close.

“While geopolitical risks can trigger bouts of short-term volatility, investors should not ignore the recent improvements in selected economic indicators and earnings,” strategists at Eastspring Investments said in a client note.

“Should the nascent recovery in the global economy continue, further upside in global markets is still possible.”

At 10:03 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () was up 115.20 points, or 0.40%, at 28,860.29, the S&P 500 () was up 14.58 points, or 0.45%, at 3,267.63 and the Nasdaq Composite () was up 69.25 points, or 0.76%, at 9,198.49.

After a better-than-expected private payrolls report on Wednesday, investors are awaiting Friday’s jobs report as well as fourth-quarter reports. Big U.S. banks will kick off the quarterly earnings season next week.

Earnings for the S&P 500 companies are expected to drop 0.6% in their second consecutive decline, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Shares in Kohl’s Corp (N:) slid 8% after the department store operator forecast full-year earnings at the bottom end of an already lowered target. J C Penney Co Inc (N:) dropped 5.8% after disappointing same-store sales numbers.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.43-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.81-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 55 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 112 new highs and seven new lows.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Add Comment