Stocks finished higher Wednesday. The Dow added 18 points to 23346 while the S&P 500 gained 3 points to 2510. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 30 points to 6665.
The major averages rallied in late afternoon trading to start 2019 off on a positive note despite a series of disappointing global manufacturing updates. Overnight, a report showed Chinese manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in 19 months. Separate updates revealed Eurozone manufacturing remained at the lowest level since February 2016 while domestic manufacturing activity cooled to a 13-month low in December. Trade related headlines also garnered attention amid reports U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer suggested additional tariffs may be warranted in order to receive meaningful concessions from China.
Energy shares paced gains as the group added roughly 2.1% after crude prices rebounded following a report Saudi Arabia has cut its oil exports. Financials and Consumer Discretionary stocks also outperformed as Goldman Sachs climbed 3.0% to $172.03 and Amazon advanced 2.5% to $1539.13. The Real Estate, Utilities, and Healthcare sectors lagged the broader market advance. In corporate news, Tesla fell 6.8% to $310.12 after the electric car maker fell short of analyst expectations for fourth-quarter deliveries and announced price cuts in an attempt to boost sales.
Breadth was positive on issues by roughly 7:3 on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.6 billion shares
Treasuries strengthened as the yield on the 10-year note down fell three basis points to 2.65%. In commodities, WTI crude rebounded 2.6% to $46.60/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.2% to $1,283.80/ounce.