Stocks at record highs – Here’s what traders are focusing on this week

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Stock Market Update Sunday, December 15th, 2019

What a week!

Stocks kicked off the week with a loss on Monday. And stocks dropped again on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the Fed kept rates unchanged and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in order to raise rates, he wants to “see inflation that’s persistent and that’s significant.” By the end of the day, the major indices were slightly higher, snapping a 2-day losing streak.

After the Fed, traders turned their attention towards trade. And on Thursday, traders got what they wanted.

Stocks were up big after news that the U.S. and China were close to a trade deal. And after the bell close Trump signed off on a deal.

Friday stocks rallied after news that a Phase One deal had been reached. But the major indices pulled back from session highs and finished just slightly higher.

The S&P and NASDAQ both finished the week with new record highs. The DOW made new records on Friday but pulled back and ended the day with its 2nd best close ever.

Here’s what traders were focused on:

  • Trade – Last week it was all about trade. A Phase One deal sounded like a sure thing over a month ago. But for weeks, the U.S. and China went back and forth on what should be included in the deal. And it sounded like a deal might not be finalized anytime soon (China said a deal wasn’t likely and Trump went as far as saying that he was fine if a deal was made AFTER the next election).

    But on Thursday President Trump signed terms for a deal. And on Friday, there was news that a Phase One deal had been reached. The deal prevented a tariff increase scheduled for December 15th and rolled back some of the previous tariffs. With the deal, China agreed to purchase more agricultural products from the U.S.

  • Brexit – Across the pond, the conservative party won the UK general election last week. This paves the way for a Brexit deal to be completed by the end of January.

Here’s where the major indices ended the week:

  • The S&P finished with a 0.7% gain. Up 23 points, the S&P ended at 3,169.
  • The DOW ended higher by 0.4%. Adding 120 points, the DOW closed at 28,135.
  • The NASDAQ was up 0.9%. With a 78 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 8,735.

Crude Oil (CL) closed finished with its highest weekly close since July. Up 1.5%, CL ended the day at $60.06.

Apple (AAPL) climbed to a new record on the deal news, finishing the week with a 1.6% gain at record highs (1.4% of the move came on Friday).

Broadcom (AVGO) and Oracle (ORCL) were lower by 3.8% and 3.5% respectively after disappointing earnings.

This upcoming week is the last “full” trading week of the year, and the decade! Enjoy the last week of trading before the holidays!

Here is the economic calendar for the week:

Real Time Economic Calendar provided by Investing.com.

This Stock Market Update was provided by Rockwell Trading Services LLC.


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