Stocks finished higher Monday, with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all closing at record levels. U.S.-China trade optimism fueled the gains, as expectations remain elevated for a partial trade deal to be signed later this month. The Dow climbed 114 points, notching its first all-time high since mid-July and now on course for its best one-year advance since 2017. The S&P 500 added 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.6%.
On the trade front, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross commented over the weekend that Washington and Beijing are making “good progress” in negotiations, and that American companies should be provided licenses to conduct business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies “very shortly.”
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in positive territory. Energy shares paced gains, jumping more than 3% as WTI crude rose 0.6% to $56.54/barrel. The laggards included the Utilities and Real Estate groups, each down at least 1.1%. In earnings, Berkshire Hathaway added 1% after delivering profit and revenue figures above consensus forecasts. Despite positive quarterly results, Under Armour shed 18.9% on news the company is undergoing a Federal investigation of its accounting practices. In other corporate news, Wright Medical Group surged 31.9% after agreeing to be purchased by Stryker for roughly $4 billion. Shares of McDonald’s dipped 2.7% following the unexpected firing of its CEO.
Treasuries slumped, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year note up six basis points to 1.78%. On the data front, factory and durable goods orders both fell more than expected in September, down 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively.