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S&P 500 posts fifth week of gains as Wall St. hits records

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11/08/2019 | 04:45pm EST
Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York

The three major U.S. stock indexes posted record closing highs and the S&P 500 registered a fifth straight week of gains on Friday as investors brushed aside worries over the progress of U.S.-China trade talks and as Walt Disney shares rose.

Doubts about trade progress resurfaced earlier in the day when President Donald Trump, in remarks to reporters at the White House, said he has not agreed to a rollback of U.S. tariffs sought by China.

On Thursday, officials from both countries said that the United States and China had agreed to such a deal.

Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York, said that while the market was initially volatile because of Trump's remarks, it climbed right back.

"The feeling now is that before the end of the year we're going to see some type of deal," Ghriskey said, even if it is a partial one.

The Cboe volatility index posted its lowest closing level since July 24.

Helping to boost the S&P 500, Walt Disney Co gained 3.8% a day after it reported quarterly results that showed it spent less than it had projected on its online streaming service, Disney+. Disney's popular theme parks and a remake of "The Lion King" lifted earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.44 points, or 0.02%, to 27,681.24, the S&P 500 gained 7.9 points, or 0.26%, to 3,093.08 and the Nasdaq Composite added 40.80 points, or 0.48%, to 8,475.31.

For the week, the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, posting a fifth straight week of gains, while the Nasdaq gained 1.1%, closing out its sixth straight week of gains. The Dow was up 1.2% for the week.

Increasing optimism on the trade front and mostly better-than-expected earnings have driven the recent record run in stocks. Of the 446 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, roughly three-quarters have beaten profit estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The numbers, to some extent, reflect significantly lowered analysts' forecasts.

Technology shares also supported the market, including Microsoft, which rose 1.2%.

Among decliners on Friday, shares of Gap Inc fell 7.6% after the apparel retailer said Chief Executive Officer Art Peck would leave the company, a surprise exit in the middle of a restructuring. Gap also slashed its full-year earnings forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.13-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 74 new highs and 87 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.59 billion shares, compared with the 6.79 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.39% 27875.62 Delayed Quote.19.26%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION 0.07% 149.59 Delayed Quote.47.17%
NASDAQ 100 0.08% 8272.052514 Delayed Quote.31.73%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.16% 8519.884826 Delayed Quote.29.17%
S&P 500 0.22% 3110.29 Delayed Quote.23.80%
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