Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Close at Record Highs Again as Wall Street Buoyed by Trade Optimism

Stocks closed at all-time highs Friday as the S&P 500 posted its fourth straight weekly gain.
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  1. Stocks closed at all-time highs Friday as the S&P 500 posted its fourth straight weekly gain.
  2. Nike NKE is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The global shoe and athletic gear powerhouse reported earnings and sales that beat analysts’ forecasts, but missed the mark on gross margins and North American sales disappointed.
  3. U.S. Steel tumbled after the steelmaker warned it would report a fourth-quarter loss, planned to slash its dividend and said it would idle a plant near Detroit that could affect more than 1,500 workers.

Stocks closed at fresh all-time highs Friday, following on from the record highs that were set in the previous session after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. and China would sign their "phase one" trade agreement in early January.

In a tweet Friday, President Donald Trump said he had "a very good talk" with President Xi Jinping of China about the trade agreement and said China had started "large scale" purchases of agricultural products. 

Also Thursday the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that puts in place terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.A "formal signing" was being arranged," the president added. 

Also Thursday the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that puts in place terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“We are going to get an excess 50 basis points of additional growth in GDP as a result of this (USMCA). People who said this is just the NAFTA 2.0 just don’t understand the technicality of this agreement,” Mnuchin told CNBC.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 78.13 points, or 0.28%, to 28,455.09, the S&P 500 rose 0.49% to 3,221.22, and the Nasdaq, which had an 8-day winning streak, gained 0.42% to 8,924.96. The S&P 500 posted its fourth straight weekly gain.

All three indexes hit record intraday highs on Friday as well.

Verizon (VZ) - Get Report, Merck (MRK) - Get Report, and 3M (MMM) - Get Report led the Dow's advance. Carnival (CCL) - Get Report was the S&P 500's top gainer, and Western Digital (WDC) - Get Report was the Nasdaq's big winner.

The three major indexes set closing records Thursday even after the House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. 

Nike  (NKE) - Get Report is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The global shoe and athletic gear powerhouse reported earnings and sales that beat analysts’ forecasts, but missed the mark on gross margins thanks in part to President Donald Trump’s recent trade spat with China and related tariffs.

Embattled aircraft maker Boeing  (BA) - Get Report was facing more bad news on Friday after the highly anticipated launch of its Starliner spacecraft started off successfully, but failed to make it into the orbit sought by Boeing and NASA.

U.S. Steel  (X) - Get Report slumped Friday after the steelmaker warned it would report a fourth-quarter loss, planned to slash its dividend and said it would idle a plant near Detroit that could affect more than 1,500 workers.

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" - the final installment in the nine-part film series - has opened in theaters. Despite negative reviews, the film is expected to rack up about $200 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend. Walt Disney's  (DIS) - Get Report Lucasfilm produced the movie.

Walt Disney is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report dodged trade war bullets in 2019, grew its services and wearables segments, and made progress in persuading investors that it can prosper in a non-iPhone-centric world. For all those reasons, it was voted TheStreet's Stock of the Year.

Apple shares also hit an all-time high Friday of $282.65.

Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.

Gross domestic product in the U.S. rose 2.1% at annualized rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said, unrevised from an earlier estimate. GDP rose 2% in the second quarter.

"No news is good news on the GDP front this morning. We’re still seeing meaningful growth albeit at a moderate pace," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade. "Looking at this read in aggregate - unemployment is at 50-year lows, the market has hit new high after new high, and major economic indicators like housing continue to show momentum."

Meanwhile, the personal consumption expenditures price index rose 0.2% in November and the yearly rate rose to 1.5% but still remained below the Federal Reserve's target of 2%.