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Trade-fueled rally pushes Wall Street to fresh record high

Kitco News

(Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes hit fresh record highs on Thursday, as signs of progress in U.S.-China trade relations and a batch of largely upbeat earnings boosted risk appetite.

The benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX is eyeing its fifth straight week of gains, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC is on track to rise for a sixth week in a row.

China said on Thursday it had agreed with the United States to remove tariffs in phases, while state-owned Xinhua News Agency said Beijing was also considering removing restrictions on poultry imports.

“A reduction in tariffs is a positive for the overall market,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

“Trade right now looks like the one thing that can push the markets higher at this point, because we have got through earnings and most of the heavy hitting economic data points for the month.”

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the communication services sector .SPLRCL gaining 1.23%, the most among all, while financials rose 1.19% as the benchmark 10 year U.S. Treasury yield hit a three-month high. [US/]

The technology sector .SPLRCT provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500, riding on a 8.3% jump in Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) shares after the chipmaker forecast current-quarter profit above analysts’ estimates.

Chipmakers, which have a sizeable exposure to China, rose propping the Philadelphia Semiconductor index .SOX 1.42% higher and trade-sensitive industrials SPLRCI were also up 0.55%.

“People are moving back to the value camp. Technology stocks and companies like 3M, which have a lot of international exposure and are cyclically dependent are going to be getting the most attention today,” Pavlik said.

Of the 430 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, 74% have beaten profit expectations, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

At 11:31 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 229.76 points, or 0.84%, at 27,722.32, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 16.17 points, or 0.53%, at 3,092.95 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 61.96 points, or 0.74%, at 8,472.59.

Ralph Lauren Corp (RL.N) jumped about 12% after it topped second-quarter profit expectations, helped by a tighter control on expenses and strong demand for its Polo shirts and tweed jackets in China and Europe.

Expedia Group Inc (EXPE.O) tumbled 24.8% as the online travel booking company missed quarterly profit estimates.

Roku Inc (ROKU.O) plunged 10.6% after posting a bigger net loss in the third quarter, as it spent more to attract subscribers to its video streaming platform.

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) fell 1% after Evercore ISI downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “in-line”.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.73-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 51 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 99 new highs and 60 new lows.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Shounak Dasgupta

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