Markets

U.S. Stocks Extend Winning Streak To Reach New Record Highs

(RTTNews) - Extending the upward trend seen over the past few sessions, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Wednesday. Buying interest was somewhat subdued, but the major averages still managed to reach new record closing highs.

The major averages all closed in positive territory, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 just off their highs of the session. The Dow rose 42.32 points or 0.2 percent to 28,164.00, the Nasdaq advanced 57.24 points or 0.7 percent to 8,705.18 and the S&P 500 climbed 13.11 points or 0.4 percent to 3,153.63.

The markets continued to benefit from optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal after President Donald Trump said trade talks are "going very well."

"We're in the final throes of a very important deal — I guess you could say, one of the most important deals in trade ever," Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

The continued strength on Wall Street also came following the release of some upbeat U.S. economic data, including a Commerce Department report showing durable goods orders unexpectedly rebounded in the month of October.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders climbed by 0.6 percent in October after plunging by a revised 1.4 percent in September.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to decrease by 0.8 percent compared to the 1.2 percent slump that had been reported for the previous month.

Separately, revised data released by the Commerce Department showed the U.S. economy grew by more than initially estimated in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said real gross domestic product jumped by 2.1 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously estimated 1.9 percent increase. Economists had expected the pace of GDP growth to be unrevised.

The stronger than previous estimated growth reflected upward revisions to private inventory investment, non-residential fixed investment, and consumer spending.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors released a report unexpectedly showing a sharp pullback in U.S. pending home sales in the month of October.

NAR said its pending home sales index plunged by 1.7 percent to 106.7 in October after surging up by 1.4 percent to a revised 108.6 in September.

Economists had expected pending home sales to climb by 0.8 percent compared to the 1.5 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

The Commerce Department also released a separate report showing U.S. personal income came in nearly flat in the month of October, although personal spending rose in line with economist estimates.

Late in the trading day, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, which said U.S. economic activity expanded modestly from October through mid-November.

The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts, noted economic growth continued at a similar pace to the prior reporting period.

Trading activity was relatively light, however, as some traders looked to get a head start on the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.

Sector News

Oil service stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session, driving the Philadelphia Oil Service Index up by 2 percent.

The strength among oil service stocks came despite a decrease by the price of crude oil, as crude for January delivery slipped $0.30 to $58.11 a barrel after a report showed an unexpected weekly increase in crude oil inventories.

Significant strength was also visible among tobacco stocks, with the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index climbing by 1.2 percent to its best closing level in over two months.

Natural gas and biotechnology stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, while most of the other major sectors showed more modest moves.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ticked up by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned mixed over the course of the session. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both rose by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries gave back some ground after moving higher over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 2.7 basis points to 1.767 percent.

Looking Ahead

Following the holiday on Thursday, trading activity is likely to remain subdued on Friday amid a lack of major U.S. economic data and an early close for the markets.

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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