Stocks – U.S.-China Hope Boosts Market; S&P Flirts With New Highs

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© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – Stocks moved higher Thursday, with the S&P 500 briefly topping its July 24 closing high, pushed higher by a thaw in U.S.-China trade relations.

The S&P finished up 0.29% at 3,009.57 after briefly crossing the 3,020 level. The S&P’s peak close was 3,019.56 on July 24.

The Dow Jones industrials were up 0.2%, about 160 points below its July closing peak and 0.79% below its all-time high of 27,398.68.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.3%, pushed in part by gains in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN).

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had been higher for most of the day, but fell back in the last hour of trading to a small decline. Chip stocks also were pressured. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index had been up as much as 1.2% during the session before falling back to a 0.3% gain.

In addition, database giant Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) fell 4.3% on news that co-CEO Mark Hurd was taking leave to deal with a health issue.

Wynn rallied because of the day’s big catalyst: the Trump administration’s announcement late Wednesday that it will delay imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese goods. In addition, President Donald Trump tweeted China is expected to buy U.S. agriculture goods in “large amounts,” and China said it had inquired into prices of U.S. soybeans and pork.

The moves were seen as good-faith gestures to find a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war.

US Soybean prices jumped on the news, closing up 29 cents, or 3.35%, to $8.955 a bushel. Soybeans are flat on the year, but have been in the doldrums since topping $14 a bushel in 2012.

Materials, real estate, technology and financial stocks were the market leaders. Healthcare and energy stocks were among the weakest sectors. Energy shares pulled back as oil prices fell for a third-straight day. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 1.47% to $54.93 a barrel. Brent crude fell 0.7% to $60.38 a barrel.

Interest rates moved higher as investors shed the safety of bonds for stocks. The 10-Year Treasury yield rose to 1.785%, from 1.733% on Wednesday.

Auto parts provider LKQ (NASDAQ:LKQ), medical-equipment manufacturer Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR), global-information-provider IHS Markit (NYSE:INFO) and onliine payments company PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) were among the top performing S&P 500 stocks.

Auto parts provider LKQ (NASDAQ:LKQ), medical-equipment manufacturer Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR), global-information-provider IHS Markit (NYSE:INFO) and onliine payments company PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) were among the top performing S&P 500 stocks.

IT services company DXC Technology (NYSE:DXC), oil-and-gas driller Helmerich and Payne (NYSE:HP), farm-and-garden retailer Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) were among the weakest S&P 500 stocks on the day.

IT services company DXC Technology (NYSE:DXC), oil-and-gas driller Helmerich and Payne (NYSE:HP), farm-and-garden retailer Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) were among the weakest S&P 500 stocks on the day.



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