Stocks - Dow Snaps Losing Streak as China Touts Progress on Trade

15 Mar 2019

Stocks - Dow Snaps Losing Streak as China Touts Progress on Trade

The Dow racked up gains Friday, snapping a two-week losing streak on reports of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.54%, the S&P 500 added 0.50%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.76%.

A wave of green washed over wall street stocks after China official state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the United States and China had made "further concrete progress on the text of the trade agreement."

The news helped lift sentiment on U.S.-China trade, which had been dented a day earlier after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin admitted that a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to seal a trade deal would not take place at the end of March as previously discussed.

Trade-sensitive industrials, however, struggled to close in positive territory as General Electric (NYSE:GE) gave up gains from a day earlier, closing 3.2% lower.

Boeing (NYSE:BA), meanwhile, pared some of its early-week losses after Agence France-Presse reported that the aircraft maker was set to roll out a software upgrade for its 737-MAX in the next 10 days.

Tech stocks also underpinned the rally in the broader market as Wall Street analysts talked up the prospects for chip stocks amid expectations the U.S. and China are edging closer to a deal.

"We're of the belief that a deal will get done which would likely send the semiconductor space up higher," RBC said. The two most sensitive areas to trade within semis have been semi-cap equipment and GPUs, the bank added.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) fell 2.5%, keeping a lid on growth in tech stocks, after its Chief Product Officer Chris Cox announced he would be leaving the company. The announcement comes amid a turbulent period for the social media giant in the wake of reports that federal prosecutors had launched a probe into data deals the company made with other tech giants.

Consumer discretion stocks also flaunted gains thanks to a rally in shares of Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) following its above-consensus fourth-quarter results released Thursday. Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) had little to show for its better-than-expected quarterly results, ending the day modestly lower.

In other company news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) unveiled its all-electric, mid-sized SUV Model Y, but the fanfare soured as Wall Street raised concerns about the timing of deliveries, sending its shares reversing 5%.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed back the timing for first deliveries of Model Y to the fall of 2020 from the first half of 2020 for higher-priced and longer ranged versions and the spring of 2021 for $39,000 base version, CFRA said in a note. "This timing shift is important because we expect Tesla faces significantly increased EV competition starting with the 2021 model year."

On the economic front, Empire State manufacturing and industrial production undershot economists' estimates, adding to concerns the U.S. economy is slowing down.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) and American Tower (NYSE:AMT) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR), WestRock Co (NYSE:WRK) and Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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