Stocks finished higher Friday as positive trade comments propelled all three major averages to new record closing levels. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow reported that Washington is “getting close” to solidifying an initial trade deal with Beijing. Separately, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross offered reassurance that the two sides remain likely to strike an accord, but the fine details still need to be worked out. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, posting a sixth-straight weekly gain, the longest such stretch since 2017. The Dow climbed 222 points, hitting the 28,000 level for the first time, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.7%. For the week, the Dow rallied 1.2%, the S&P gained 0.9%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.8%.
On the data front, retail sales rose 0.3% in October, rebounding from the prior month’s equivalent drop. However, the core measure was downwardly revised for September. Separately, industrial production fell 0.8% last month, worse than the forecasted 0.4% dip. Treasuries weakened slightly, with the yield on the 10-year note up one basis point to 1.83%. In commodities, WTI crude gained 1.7% to $57.72/barrel, notching a second-straight weekly advance as trade optimism overshadowed concerns of a supply glut.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in positive territory, with Materials the sole decliner. Health Care shares paced gains, adding more than 2%. In earnings, Applied Materials jumped 9% following an earnings beat that included an increase in forward guidance. NVIDIA Corp. fell 2.7% after the chipmaker topped analyst profit estimates but offered a disappointing current-quarter forecast.