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Stock Market Soars To Records After Trump Signals Imminent China-Trade Deal

U.S. stock indexes were higher Thursday afternoon, but off the session’s best levels which saw new intraday record highs, after President Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. is “getting very close to a big deal with China,” signaling that tariffs set to go into effect Sunday may be avoided.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.78% was 134 points, 0.5%, higher, at 28,045, at midday, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.72% gained about 18 points, or 0.6% to 3,160, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.53% added 36 points, or 0.4%, to 8,690.

All three main stock benchmarks touched intraday highs Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, the Dow rose 29.58 points, 0.11%, Wednesday, closing at 27,911.30, the S&P 500 index closed 9.11 points, 0.29%, higher, at 3,141.63, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.53% rose 37.87 points, 0.44%, to 8,654.05.

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The president said on Twitter Thursday that the U.S. and China are nearing a “big deal” that could avoid fresh tariffs, planned to go in effect Dec. 15, and potentially roll back some existing duties, sending U.S. stocks to at or near record levels.

A report from the Wall Street Journal indicated U.S. trade negotiators are offering to cancel new China tariffs and reduce existing levies on Chinese goods by up to 50% on $360 billion worth of imports.

“This has become a buy high, sell higher market, and today’s strength is related to a US-China trade deal that seems to be coming together,” Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told MarketWatch.

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Trump’s tweet followed the Federal Reserve leaving interest rates unchanged on Wednesday while expressing optimism about U.S. economic health.

Similarly, on Thursday the European Central Bank decided to keep its main deposit rate at negative 0.5%, while maintaining its rate of asset purchases at €20 billion a month, as widely expected by analysts. The ECB meeting was the first presided over by new President Christine Lagarde.

“We’re in an easy money environment, thanks to Jerome Powell, Christine Lagarde and central bankers around the world,” said Yousef Abbasi, director of U.S. institutional equities and global market strategist at INTL FCStone, in an interview.

In the U.S., “We’re not going to get any hikes in 2020 and at least for the first half of next year, the Fed is going to be buying assets hand over fist,” Abbasi added, referring to the Fed’s plan to expand its balance sheet through purchases of U.S. Treasury bills, in order to improve daily liquidity in money markets.

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Meanwhile, the U.K. is holding a general election on Thursday which will play a crucial role in determining the course of its plans to exit from out of the European Union. Recent polling figures, indicate Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is most likely to win, but his lead has narrowed over the rival Labour Party, injecting some doubt into the outcome.

In U.S. economic data, new unemployment claims jumped by 49,000 to 252,000 during the week ended Dec. 7, the Labor Department said Thursday, the highest level since Sept. 2017, though the data was likely affected by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Wholesale price inflation remained tame, with the producer-price index unchanged in November, with core producer prices, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, falling to a three-year low of 1.3%.

Shares of General Electric CoGE, +4.74% gained 3.6%Thursday, after UBS analyst Markus Mittermaier upgraded shares to the equivalent of “buy” from “hold” and raised his price target to $14 from $11.50, compared with the stock’s $10.97 closing price Wednesday.

Starbucks CorpSBUX, +2.09%  stock rose nearly 2% after it was upgraded to overweight from neutral by J.P. Morgan, after a meeting with company management.

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Delta Air Lines DAL, +3.08%  said Thursday it expects to generate per-share earnings of $6.75 to $7.75 in 2020 as revenue grows 4% to 6%. Shares rose 3.4% Thursday.

Southwest Airlines LUV, +1.39%  said Thursday it has reached a settlement with Boeing BA, -0.54%, over the grounding of its 737 Max fleet totaling about $125 million and that it will share the money with its employees. The company’s stock rose 1.9%.

Lululemon Athletica LULU, -3.94%  fell more than 5% after the apparel retailer reported an adjusted third-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations late Wednesday.

Disney + DIS, +0.30%  has been downloaded 22 million times to mobile devices in what is probably the most successful launch in the nascent industry’s history, according to app-tracking firm Apptopia.Shares gained 0.1%.

Apple AAPL, +0.09%  saw its China iPhone shipments fall sharply in November, according to Credit Suisse.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +6.19% surged 8 basis points to 1.88% as investors monitored ECB and trade developments.

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West Texas Intermediate crude CLF22, -1.03% on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 70 cents, or 1.2%, to $59.46 a barrel, after a 0.7% decline on Wednesday.

February gold  GCG20, -0.32%  on Comex fell $1.50, or 0.1%, to $1,474 an ounce, with the metal on track for a third gain in a row.

The U.S. dollar, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.08%, was virtually unchanged at 97.44, against a basket of a half-dozen currency peers.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Europe index SXXP, +0.33% was trading 0.3% higher at 407.58.

Story cited here.