landsberg bennettStocks finished higher Tuesday. The Dow climbed 256 points to 23,787 while the S&P 500 gained 24 points to 2,574. The Nasdaq Composite added 73 points to 6,897.

The major averages advanced for the third consecutive session amid optimism on the trade front. Earlier, President Trump tweeted “talks with China are going very well”, while U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross commented yesterday that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that “we can live with.” On the data front, a report showed that the gauge for small business optimism climbed unexpectedly in December, but remains at the lowest level since 2016. In a separate release, the job opening and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) showed U.S. employers had 6.9 million openings in November, down from the prior month’s upwardly revised 7.1 million. An update on consumer credit showed Americans borrowed more-than-expected in November.

Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended higher. Communication Services outperformed with Facebook gaining 3.3% to $142.55. The oft-cited FAANG group helped boost markets, gaining 1.8% on the session. Industrials were lifted as Union Pacific jumped 8.7% to $150.75 after hiring an industry veteran as its COO.

Breadth was positive on issues by 4:1 on the NYSE and by 2:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 4.0 billion shares.

Treasuries weakened with the yield on the 10-year note up four basis points to 2.73%. In commodities, WTI crude added 1.2% to $49.69/barrel, extending its longest rally since 2017. COMEX gold fell 0.3% to $1,286.30/ounce amid a stronger dollar.