Mid-Day Update: Improved Trade Outlook Gives Wall Street Year-End Boost

Stocks were trading higher Monday as signs of progress toward US/China trade negotiations and indications that President Donald Trump is taking steps to calm Wall Street propped up the major market averages on the last day of trade in 2018. Although off its session high, the Dow was up almost 200 points from Friday's close with shares of Goldman Sachs ( GS ) in the lead.

Toward the end of a very tumultuous month, the Dow lost 9.9% in value for December, the Standard & Poor's 500 was down 10% and the Nasdaq was lower by 11%. For 2018, the blue chip lost 5.9% and S&P 500 lost 6.5% while the Nasdaq was down 4.1%.

Buoyed Trump's tweet that US/China trade talks were "moving along very well," global financial markets moved higher overnight despite December data indicating a contraction in China's manufacturing sector.

Wall Street opened with outsized gains but retreated off the highs on a much greater-than-expected deterioration in the Dallas Fed manufacturing index to negative 5.1 from positive 17.6 the month prior, significantly below expectations for a slight decline in 17.0. The last time the index fell by as much was in 2008 during the height of the financial crisis.

Most European markets were closed for New Year's Eve except UK markets, which ended an abbreviated session with a slight loss.

Crude oil was down $0.09 to $45.24 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.26 to $3.04 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $0.70 to $1,283.70 an ounce, while silver was up $0.09 to $15.53 an ounce. Copper was down $0.04 to $2.64 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.31% to $9.56 with the United States Natural Gas Fund down 8.25% to $25.15. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.89% to 20.91 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.08% to $121.15. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.62% to $14.51.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:


NYSE Composite Index was up 25.40 points (+0.22%) to 11,316.57

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 198.72 points (+0.87%) to 23,263.12

S&P 500 was up 8.28 points (+0.33%) to 2,493.14

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 33.41 points (+0.51%) to 6,613.15


FTSE 100 was down 5.84 points (-0.09%) to 6,728.13

DAX was closed

CAC 40 was up 51.96 points (+1.11%) to 4,730.69

Nikkei 225 was closed

Hang Seng Index was up 341.50 points (+1.34%) to 25,845.70

Shanghai China Composite Index was closed


NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 17.67 points (+0.20%) to 9,325.86

NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 0.33 points (-0.00%) to 6,924.86

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 119.04 points (+0.78%) to 15,098.72


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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