Stocks saw record levels on Friday to close a week of strong gains as geopolitical risks receded near the end of 2019. The Dow Jones rose 125 points, while the S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.4 percent.
Carnival shares led the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher, rising more than 8 per cent, to strong quarterly results. Merck and Verizon stocks rose more than 1 percent to push the Dow to record levels. At the start of Friday’s session, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.2 per cent for the fourth week and headed for new weekly gains. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq rose 0.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, for weekly gains.
“You’re seeing the geopolitical risk that was in the market seep out now,”. You had the Fed backstopping risk throughout the year but you had those geopolitical worries. Now, they’re abating and the market is moving higher” said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist for the Northwest Mutual Wealth Management.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese officials said last week that the two countries agreed on the so-called first-stage trade deal that will be signed next month. Treasury Secretary Stephen Manuchin said on Thursday he has no doubt that trade negotiators representing the United States and China will sign the so-called “first stage” trade deal in early January.
Trade fears kept investors on guard for most of 2019, sparking concern about the state of the global economy and maintaining corporate earnings expectations. Despite this tension, Wall Street is making strides to achieve a remarkable annual performance.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen by nearly 28 percent so far with less than 10 trading days remaining in 2019. This will be the best performance of the index for one year since 2013 as it increased by 29.6 percent.
Stocks tend to bear this strong momentum the following year, as data compiled by Nordea Research shows that the S&P 500 recorded positive returns in the year after rising more than 25 percent.