Published: Fri, January 04, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

US stocks edge higher on hopes of US-China trade resolution

US stocks edge higher on hopes of US-China trade resolution

The indexes are still all down around 10 percent for the month and on track for their worst December since 1931.

US futures surged after President Donald Trump tweeted a day earlier that he expected to reach a deal to help resolve trade friction with Beijing after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In addition to China tensions, regular increases in the Federal Reserve's interest rate and concerns of a depression left investors wary to purchase stocks for much of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 222.16 points, or 0.96 percent, to 23,284.56, the S&P 500 gained 16.83 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,502.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 45.85 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,630.37.

Facebook Inc fell 1.2 percent, cementing its place as the worst performing FAANG stock of the year, while Alphabet Inc fell 0.5 percent. -China trade frictions. Health care companies, retailers and technology stocks drove the gains as the market overcame a midmorning wobble. But for the year, only healthcare and utilities ended 2018 higher. The Nasdaq rose 50 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,635. The S&P 500 was up or down more than 1% nine times in December alone, compared to eight times in all of 2017.

On Monday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 2506.85, up 21.11 or -0.80%. He tweeted a deal is "moving along very well", calling negotiations "very comprehensive".

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The Dec. 27 trading was marked by a stunning reversal late in the session to build on a rally that started on Dec. 26 with the biggest single-day percentage gains for the indexes in almost a decade. The S&P 500 set an all-time record on September 20, and the Dow closed at its record on October 3. Brent crude, the benchmark for global prices, gained 0.3 per cent to $53.39 a barrel in London. Trump also claimed that "big progress" was being made on this front.

ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "Whilst President Trump has lauded "big progress" in trade talks with China following a phone call with Xi during the weekend, it remains to be seen how much this can boost investor confidence given that market reaction on recent positive development has largely been muted", Mizuho Bank said in a markets commentary. Meanwhile, the official Xinhua News Agency cited a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that "China stands ready to work with the United States to move forward the China-U.S. ties which are underpinned by coordination, cooperation and stability".

Stocks are snapping higher in early trading on Wall Street on the last day of a volatile year as hopes grew for progress in resolving trade frictions between the US and China.

Stoltzfus predicted the S&P 500 in particular will bounce back 20 percent above current levels next year.

In other trading, the dollar fell to 109.63 yen from 110.41 yen on Friday.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the CAC 40 of France rose 1.1 percent to 4,730.69, ending the year down about 11 percent. The euro strengthened to $1.1445 from $1.1442.

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