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Stocks End Higher on Last Day of 2019 as Trump Says He'll Sign U.S.-China Phase 1 Deal Jan. 15

Stocks ended higher Tuesday, the last trading day of 2019, as the president says he will sign a `large and comprehensive' phase-one trade deal with China at the White House Jan. 15.

1. Stocks ended 2019 higher Tuesday as President Donald Trump says he will sign the “phase one” trade deal with China at the White House on Jan. 15..

2. China's Tencent Holdings has led a consortium of investors into a deal that to buy 10% of Universal Music Group.

3. A group of Iraqi Shiite Muslims threw rocks at the gates of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad Tuesday before tearing down the main gate and entering the compound.

Stocks ended higher Tuesday, the final trading day of 2019, as President Donald Trump said he would sign a phase one trade deal with China at the White House on Jan. 15.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 76 points, or 0.27%, to 28,538, the S&P 500 rose 0.29%, while the Nasdaq rose 0.3%.

IBM  (IBM) - Get International Business Machines Corporation Report, Cisco  (CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report, and Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report led the Dow's advance.

The Dow climbed 22.3% in 2019, its strongest one-year move since 2017. 

The S&P 500 was up 28.9% for 2019. That's its biggest one-year gain since 2013. 

The Nasdaq rallied 35.2% in 2019, also its best showing since 2013. 

A year ago, the Dow closed at 23,327.46, the S&P finished at 2,506.85, while the Nasdaq ended at 6,635.28.

Trump said on Twitter that "I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15."

"The ceremony will take place at the White House," Trump wrote. "High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!"

Meanwhile, a group of Iraqi Shiite Muslims threw rocks at the gates of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad Tuesday before tearing down the main gate and entering the compound.

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The protesters, thought to be supported by Iran-backed militia, were reacting to U.S. airstrikes earlier this week that killed 25 Kataib Hezbollah fighters following the death of a U.S. civilian contractor in Iraq last week.

Security forces fired tear gas at the protesters, while non-essential staff at the embassy were evacuated.

Trump in a tweet said Iran was "orchestrating" the attack and "will be held fully responsible."

In company news, Boeing  (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report and Turkish Airlines have agreed on compensation for certain losses caused by grounded and undelivered Boeing 737 Max aircraft, the Turkish airline said on Tuesday.

Boeing did not specify the size of the payment, Reuters reported. But the news service noted that Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper said that it was valued at $225 million, including $150 million in compensation and $75 million covering things like spare parts and training.

Turkish Airlines is one of a number of airlines that have been seeking compensation from Boeing for the financial impact of the grounding. Boeing shares were off slightly to $324.80. 

China's Tencent Holdings  (TCEHY)  has led a consortium of investors into a deal to buy 10% of Universal Music Group, the world's biggest music company, for around $3.4 billion.

The stake sale values Universal -- which is controlled by French media company Vivendi SA  (VIVHY)  -- at around $34 billion, the companies said. It gives China-based Tencent a chance to bring music from artists such as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and the Beatles to streaming audiences in its domestic market of more than 450 million online users. 

Shares of Core Laboratories  (CLB) - Get Core Laboratories NV Report tumbled 22% after the oil-services provider lowered its fourth quarter guidance and cut its dividend payments amid a slowdown in the key U.S. drilling sector and a delay in booking big overseas deals.

Carlos Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan car-making alliance who is facing corruption and financial misconduct charges in Japan, has fled to Lebanon just months before he was due to stand trial in Tokyo.

Ghosn, who was arrested late last year and held under strict bail conditions set by the Tokyo District Court, managed to leave Japan despite having surrendered his passports to authorities and submitted to intense monitoring by police.

He arrived in Lebanon -- where he has political and business ties -- early Tuesday, claiming he would not be "held hostage" by Japan's "rigged justice system." 

In economic news, U.S. consumer confidence dipped slightly in December, the Conference Board said. The metric came in at 126.5 for the month, down from 126.8 in November. Economists expected a reading of 128.2 for December.