Stocks finished higher Friday, as investors digested the latest developments on the trade front. The Dow added 109 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both ticked up 0.2%. For the week, the Dow lost 0.5% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were each lower by 0.3%. All three major averages recorded their first weekly loss in more than month.
The major averages rose attributed to improved market sentiment after Chinese President Xi said he wants to figure out a way to solidify an initial trade agreement, but stressed the importance of mutual respect and warned of retaliation, if necessary. Furthermore, President Trump noted that a trade deal was “very close.” Concerns still linger, however, as U.S. legislation backing anti-government protestors in Hong Kong could undermine progress of a trade pact.
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in positive territory with Financials leading the advance. In earnings, Nordstrom rallied 10.6% after the department store easily topped estimates on both the top and bottom line, bucking the downward trend seen earlier in the week by Macy’s and Kohl’s. Packaged food company JM Smucker jumped 4.0% despite lowering its full-year earnings outlook.
On the data front, flash readings on the U.S. economy from research firm Markit showed manufacturing activity climbed to a seven month high, while the service sector expanded at a faster-than-anticipated pace in November. A final update from the University of Michigan revealed consumer sentiment improved this month. Treasuries ended mixed, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note unchanged at 1.77%.