Dow Jones Smashes Record Highs, Fourth Consecutive Week of Gains

Written by Bryan Shin

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December 20, 2019

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U.S. markets have been bullish during the month of December. On Friday morning, the Dow Jones extended by 95.97 points or 0.34%, gaining over 1,100 points in the month of December so far.

The S&P 500 Index edged higher by 13.41 points or 0.42%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose by 19.18 points or 0.22% on Friday morning shortly after the opening bell.

On Friday, The Commerce Department released its third estimate of third-quarter GDP, which left growth unchanged at 2.1%. The estimate matched expectations according to MarketWatch’s poll, with strong spending offset by weaker business investment in inventories, according to MarketWatch.

Markets were also lifted higher as investors and analysts seemed to remain optimistic regarding trade negotiations as well as international policies.The U.S. House passed the USMCA bill on Thursday, which will replace NAFTA.

Moreover, on Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he is “very confident” that the U.S. and China will sign the “phase one” trade deal in early January. 

Mnuchin’s comments come just a week after the U.S. and China reached an agreement in the phase one deal, which included tariff relief, increased agricultural purchases and certain structural changes to intellectual property and technology issues. Beijing agreed to purchase billions of dollars in agricultural goods from the U.S., while Trump said he would not move ahead with a new round of tariffs.

“This is a boost to Mr. Trump, who considers it to be his signature trade deal, and reduces one source of uncertainty for firms, but it is dominated by the ongoing uncertainty over US-China trade talks,” wrote analysts at UniCredit, in a Friday research note.

While markets remained rather neutral earlier this week, markets spiked on Thursday despite U.S. President Donald Trump being impeached by the House on Wednesday evening. 

On the other hand, some analysts remain cautious that a pullback may happen soon because of the gains the Dow Jones has notched recently.

“The underlying strength of the markets continues to fortify [signals] that the year end rally is in good shape but could soon begin to digest its gains. In other words, consolidate,” wrote Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Securities, in a daily note.

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