Stocks on Wall Street hit new highs on news of U.S.-China trade deal

U.S. stocks rose to new record highs on Thursday’s close, as the Dow and S&P 500 gained on news that a potential trade deal between the United States and China is in the offing.

China said it agreed with the U.S. to remove tariffs in phases, while the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Beijing officials as saying that China was also considering removing restrictions on American poultry imports.

Gains were pared in late afternoon trading, however, as news broke that the White House’s plan to roll back some tariffs faced internal opposition and no final decision had yet been made.

That said, an interim trade deal will include a pledge to roll-back additional U.S. tariffs that were scheduled to begin Dec. 15.

“Any kind of uncertainty there, with the market at all-time highs, and it’s easy for traders and institutions to press the sell button and take some money off the table,” said Alan Lancz, president, Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm, based in Toledo, Ohio.

President Trump, however, touted the rising markets as good for investors and average Americans whose 401(k) plans are gaining in value with each market rise.

“Stock Markets (all three) hit another ALL TIME & HISTORIC HIGH yesterday! You are sooo lucky to have me as your President (just kidding!). Spend your money well!” Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this week.

“Stock Market up big today. A New Record. Enjoy!” he posted in a tweet earlier Thursday.

The latest batch of earnings, however, provided some positive news.

The S&P 500 technology index ended up 0.7%, with shares of Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) up 6.3% after it forecast current-quarter profit above analysts’ estimates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 182.24 points, or 0.66%, to 27,674.8, the S&P 500 gained 8.4 points, or 0.27%, to 3,085.18 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.89 points, or 0.28%, to 8,434.52.

“Corporate earnings, while down year over year, are better than many had expected, and that’s a plus,” said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist of Bruderman Asset Management in New York.

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