Stocks finished higher on Tuesday, closing out a record year on Wall Street. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each rose 0.3%. Both benchmark indexes capped their strongest annual performance since 2013, climbing 28.9% and 35.2%, respectively. The Dow gained 76 points, notching its best year since 2017, up 22.3%. In trade news, President Trump announced plans to sign the “phase one” accord with China on January 15th, stating that “phase two” negotiations would follow in Beijing.
Treasuries weakened with the yield on the 10-year note up four basis point to 1.92%, though down from 2018’s closing level of 2.68%. In commodities, WTI crude slipped nearly 1% to $61.15/barrel, still realizing its best annual gain since 2016. COMEX gold notched its strongest year since 2010, while the U.S. Dollar Index experienced its smallest-ever annual move, rising just 0.2%.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended 2019 in positive territory. Technology stocks soared 48%, the group’s best performance in a decade. Energy shares lagged on a relative basis, rising a modest 7.6%.
On the data front, the Conference Board’s gauge of consumer confidence declined to 126.5 in December from an upwardly revised 126.8 reading in November. Separately, a release from S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller revealed that home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose the most in five months in October.
For December, the Dow added 1.7%, the S&P 500 climbed 2.9%, and the Nasdaq rallied 3.5%. For the quarter, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq advanced 6%, 8.5%, and 12.2%, respectively.