NEW YORK, Sept 13 — Wall Street advanced yesterday, and the S&P 500 ended the session within striking distance of its all-time closing high, buoyed by positive developments on the US-China trade front and a promise of continued stimulus from the European Central Bank.
Technology gains led the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq higher, while financials gave the biggest boost to the blue-chip Dow, which closed up for the seventh consecutive session, its longest winning streak since May.
Stocks rose worldwide as China and the United States made concessions ahead of next month’s planned talks in Washington, aimed at easing a trade war that has whipsawed markets and stoked recessionary fears for months.
US President Donald Trump agreed to delay increased tariffs on billions worth of Chinese goods for two weeks after China exempted tariffs on a basket of US imports and promised to buy more US agricultural products.
“It’s good that (the United States and China are) talking and there appears to be less animosity,” said Stephen Massocca, Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. “The actual concessions that were made are immaterial, but the spirit they were made in is what the market views as more important.”
Investor confidence got an early boost from the European Central Bank (ECB), which promised continued stimulus to the ailing euro zone economy through asset purchases.
David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York, expressed skepticism about the potential benefits of additional stimulus.
“At this stage of the cycle, we’re not sure if further ECB or Fed easing will have a meaningful fundamental impact given that rates have been so low for so long,” Carter said.
The US Federal Reserve is expected to cut key interest rates by 25 basis points next week, a move intended to head off signs of US economic softening.
Such softening was not apparent in economic data released by the Labor Department yesterday. Core consumer prices rose 2.4 per cent in August, well above the Fed’s 2 per cent inflation target and jobless claims dropped more than expected last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.41 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 27,182.45, the S&P 500 gained 8.64 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 3,009.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.79 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 8,194.47.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but energy and healthcare closed in the black, with materials and real estate posting the largest percentage gains.
Industrial bellwethers Deere & Co and Caterpillar Inc ended the session down 1.1 per cent and 1.0 per cent, respectively, after Wells Fargo downgraded their shares to “market perform.”
Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc rose 1.2 per cent after Google reached a US$1.1 billion (RM4.5 billion) settlement with French authorities to resolve a fiscal fraud probe, and following a legal victory over German publishers over fee demands.
Shares of Tocagen Inc plunged 77.7 per cent after the drugmaker’s experimental brain cancer treatment failed in a late-stage study.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.24-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 40 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 89 new highs and 27 new lows.
Volume on US exchanges was 7.51 billion shares, compared with the 6.79 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days. — Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online