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S&P 500 Ticks Higher on Fresh Trade Optimism

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11/27/2019 | 01:49pm EST

By Anna Isaac and Paul Vigna

U.S. stocks edged higher Wednesday after upbeat economic data and optimistic comments from President Trump on progress in the trade talks between China and the U.S.

The broad S&P 500 index rose 0.4%, extending the record high set Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%. Trading was light ahead of Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, weighed down by declines at Boeing, among the blue-chip index's biggest losers in dollar terms. The airplane maker slid 0.7% after reports that regulators in the U.S. plan to conduct their own reviews of new 737 MAX planes, while regulators in Europe and the Middle East plan to do the same for the new 777X.

Traders were encouraged by economic reports that showed a bit more growth than expected. Third-quarter gross domestic product was revised to 2.1% from 1.9% and October durable-goods orders rose more than expected. Jobless claims for last week fell.

"The economy is not about to fall off a cliff," Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in a note. "However, the lingering global industrial slump, persistent trade policy uncertainty and cooling income growth all point to weaker activity in the coming months."

The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.765% from 1.739% on Tuesday. U.S. crude fell 0.9%. Gold dropped 0.4%.

Mr. Trump stoked hopes that negotiations may be advancing between the world's two largest economies when he said Tuesday that the U.S. and China were in the "final throes of a very important deal."

But the president also offered support for pro-democracy parties in Hong Kong in his comments to reporters gathered at the White House. Mr. Trump has previously acknowledged that the protests in Hong Kong are a "complicating factor" in his efforts to strike a trade deal with China, and he hasn't yet said if he would sign a bill passed by Congress in support of the protesters.

"The Hong Kong position by the U.S. makes a deal less likely in the short term," said Oliver Jones, market economist at research firm Capital Economics.

In recent weeks, investors have struggled to gauge which of the issues between the two countries- -- ranging from support for Hong Kong protesters to intellectual property rights protection and purchases of agricultural products -- may ultimately hold sway and determine the outcome of the trade talks. "There is a sense of fatigue in markets, of the boy who cried wolf," Mr. Jones said.

Shares of Deere fell 4.5% after the agricultural-equipment maker said it expected sales to fall in its agriculture-and-turf and construction-and-forestry segments in fiscal 2020 as lingering trade tensions have made farmers more reluctant to invest in new machinery.

Dell Technologies fell 5.3% after the computer maker cut its revenue guidance and cited a shortage of chips from Intel.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 0.3%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index ended the day down 0.1% after China's National Bureau of Statistics released data showing a decline in profits for the country's industrial sector, which has been hit by U.S. tariffs

Write to Anna Isaac at anna.isaac@wsj.com and Paul Vigna at paul.vigna@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BOEING COMPANY (THE) 1.66% 323.05 Delayed Quote.-0.83%
CHINA-SHANGHAI COMP -2.75% 2976.53 End-of-day quote.-2.93%
DEERE & COMPANY -1.13% 170.12 Delayed Quote.-1.81%
DELL TECHNOLOGIES INC. -0.77% 49.98 Delayed Quote.-2.74%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.58% 28989.73 Delayed Quote.1.58%
HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY 0.09% 10.91 Delayed Quote.10.32%
INTEL CORPORATION 8.13% 68.47 Delayed Quote.14.40%
NASDAQ 100 -0.82% 9141.46713 Delayed Quote.5.54%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.93% 9314.91145 Delayed Quote.4.58%
S&P 500 -0.90% 3295.47 Delayed Quote.2.00%
S&P/CITIC 300 INDEX -3.13% 3485.68 Delayed Quote.-1.86%
S&P/CITIC 50 INDEX -2.99% 3600.44 Delayed Quote.-3.65%
STOXX EUROPE 600 0.86% 423.64 Delayed Quote.1.01%
STOXX EUROPE 600 NR 0.86% 914.8 Delayed Quote.1.06%
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