Stocks finished higher Wednesday, as investors digested corporate earnings reports and the official signing of the U.S.-China “phase one” trade pact. The terms of the agreement aims to curb intellectual property theft and boost U.S. exports to $200 billion in an effort to close the trade imbalance. The Trump administration said the enforcement mechanism in place sets the deal apart from past agreements between the two countries.
The S&P 500 ticked up 0.2%, recording its second record close this week. The Nasdaq Composite rose less than 0.1%. The Dow advanced 90 points to close above the 29,000 mark for the first time.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory. In earnings news, Goldman Sachs added 0.2% despite profits falling short of analyst expectations. The bank’s $1 billion litigation charges are seemingly overshadowing a 63% surge in fixed income revenue. Bank of America slipped 1.8% following a 4% decline in fourth-quarter profits. Shares of BlackRock gained 2.3% after revealing its assets surpassed the $7 trillion mark for the first time. Elsewhere, UnitedHealth Group rallied 2.8% following its positive quarterly results. Target slid 6.5% after reporting disappointing holiday sales, as the retailer struggled in some key merchandise categories.
Treasuries strengthened, with the yield on the 10-year note down three basis points to 1.78%. On the data front, core PPI (excluding food and energy) rose 1.1% year-over year, slower than the prior 1.3% pace. Another update showed manufacturing activity in the New York region improved last month.