Stocks - S&P 500 Soars on Hopes Shutdown Will Be Averted

12 Feb 2019

Stocks - S&P 500 Soars on Hopes Shutdown Will Be Averted

The S&P 500 rose sharply on Tuesday amid optimism that a partial government shutdown will be averted, despite President Donald Trump expressing disappointment in the deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.49%, the S&P 500 gained 1.26% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.46%.

Trump told reporters he was "not happy" with the deal on border security struck by U.S. lawmakers, but downplayed expectations the United States was heading for second partial government shutdown.

"I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown,” Trump said. But he added: "If you did have one, it’s the Democrats' fault."

The deal includes just $1.375 billion for a border barrier, well short of the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded for his proposed border wall.

On trade, meanwhile, Trump said he may consider extending the current 90-day trade war truce, which expires on March 1, but would prefer not to.

Without a deal, or extension to the deadline, the U.S. has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports to 25% from 10%.

Trade-sensitive stocks like Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) took the trade uncertainty in their stride, rising more than 1%, supporting the gains in the industrial sector.

Materials and financials, meanwhile, drove the bulk of the gains in the broader market, with the latter propped up by a surge in Brighthouse Financial .

Brighthouse (NASDAQ:BHF) jumped 14% after its fourth-quarter earnings topped expectations.

Major Wall Street banks were boosted a surge in U.S. government bond yields on the back of improved risk sentiment. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) ended the day higher.

Tech stocks also flourished on the back of a continued rise in semiconductor stocks. Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and NXP Semis (NASDAQ:NXPI) racked up sharp gains for the day.

The energy sector was supported by gains in U.S. oil prices on data showing OPEC slashed oil output last month, while Saudi Arabia's pledged to continue reducing production also supported sentiment.

On economic front, investors mulled over mixed economic data showing the labor market remained strong, but small business optimism fell to its lowest level in more than two years.

But analysts downplayed the significance of the drop in small business optimism, blaming it on volatile market conditions in December and the partial government shutdown.

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