November 24, 2020

S&P 500, Nasdaq close out 2019 with best gains in six years

2 min read

NEW YORK: Wall Street on Tuesday (Dec 31) closed out a banner year, with US stocks recording their best performance since 2013.

In Tuesday’s final moments, the major indices also squeaked into positive territory for the day following President Donald Trump’s announcement of a date to sign a landmark trade agreement with China.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 9.49 points (0.29 per cent) to 3,230.78, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 26.61 (0.30 per cent), closing at 8.972,61.

That left them up 29 per cent and 35 per cent for the year – their best performances in six years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 76.30 points (0.27 per cent) to 28.538,44, which represents a 22 per cent gain for 2019.

“Much of the enthusiasm in the market is based on the idea that global growth is going to begin to accelerate, albeit slowly,” Quincy Krosby of Prudential Financial told AFP.

“The question will be, do we actually see positive growth, especially in China?”

Demand in China is crucial to chances for renewed growth in global trade, she added, while the China agreement could see US corporations begin investing again after a year of capital spending stagnated worryingly.

As markets were about to open earlier on Tuesday, Trump tweeted that a partial trade deal with China would be signed in Washington on Jan 15, ending some of the uncertainty about efforts to cement the deal announced earlier this month.

Stocks nevertheless ended a little below their recent record highs, set during a brisk rally in the recent on hopes for sustained economic growth and a cooling of the US-China trade conflict.

“I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on Jan 15,” Trump tweeted.

The tweet set a calendar date for an event that had hung in uncertainty in recent weeks as details remained scant.