Stocks Surge to Record Highs; Dollar Strengthens: Markets Wrap
Stocks extended this week’s relentless push to all-time highs as positive U.S. and China economic data, low interest rates and easing trade tensions propelled investor optimism. The dollar strengthened and gold climbed.
The benchmark S&P 500 Index, along with the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite, set record highs for an eighth consecutive trading session. Boeing Co. slumped after a Fitch downgrade, weighing on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed at a record, posting its biggest gain since mid-December.
“The headwinds of last year have dissipated and we’ve gotten more clarity on the backdrop. That clarity is helping to solidify marginal improvement in risk assets,” said Jack Janasiewicz, a portfolio manager at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, which oversees $1 trillion “The big one is going to earnings, and so far so good.”
The longest-dated Treasuries dipped after the U.S. announced plans for a new 20-year bond. The dollar increased against its major peers including the euro and pound, with the latter reversing gains while gilts turned higher after U.K. retail sales data disappointed.
Investors in risk assets headed into the weekend looking confident after the completion of an initial Sino-American trade deal and solid results from the biggest banks on Wall Street. U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The earnings season continues to ramp up next week with Procter & Gamble Co. and Intel Corp. reporting, but for now most economic data is supporting sentiment: China GDP was in line with estimates, while housing starts surged in the U.S.
“At this stage of the game we’ve got a Fed that’s committed to staying on hold, you’ve got a belief that there’s a signal of easing, and some improvement in the economic data globally,” Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab, said on Bloomberg Television. “That’s helping propel markets.”
Elsewhere, oil slumped for a second week as optimism following the signing of the America-China trade agreement offset signs that supplies remain plentiful.
Emerging-market equities also climbed for a seventh week of gains.
These are the major market moves:
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