Stocks Close at Records; Nasdaq Higher for 11th Consecutive Session

The Dow Industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all set records in post-Christmas trading on Thursday.
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  1. The Nasdaq rose for an 11th day, breaching 9,000 for the first time.
  2. A spokesman for China's commerce ministry said China was in close touch with the U.S. on signing a "phase one" trade agreement.
  3. Amazon.com is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The online retailing giant said during the holiday season that "billions of items were ordered worldwide and tens of millions of Amazon devices were purchased worldwide." 

Stocks closed at records Thursday in post-Christmas trading, with the Nasdaq benchmark breaking past 9,000 for the first time.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up nearly 106 points, or 0.37%, at 28,621.39. The S&P 500 gained 0.51% to 3,239.91, and the Nasdaq rose 0.78% to 9,022.39. 

Leading the Dow higher were Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report, up almost 2%, JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report, up 1.1%, and Walgreens Boots Alliance  (WBA) - Get Report, up 0.9%.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq U.S. stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq closing at a record high of 8,952.88, the index's ninth consecutive record close.

Stocks across the globe have moved higher over the past week after President Donald Trump said the U.S. and China were close to signing a "phase one" trade agreement.

A spokesman for China's commerce ministry said Thursday that China was in close touch with the U.S. on signing the accord. He added that the world's two largest economies were still going through necessary procedures before the signing, Reuters reported.

Overall holiday retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 3.4% from a year earlier, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, with the gain driven largely by e-commerce sales.

Online sales from Nov. 1 to Christmas Eve rose 18.8%, while sales in stores rose just 1.2%. E-commerce sales made up 14.6% of total retail sales and reached a new high, according to Mastercard.

Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report said Thursday that during the holiday season the number of items it delivered with Prime free one-day and Prime free same-day delivery nearly quadrupled from a year earlier.

The company said "billions of items were ordered worldwide and tens of millions of Amazon Devices were purchased worldwide." Amazon didn't provide specifics in a press release. The Seattle company's shares added 4.5% to nearly $1,869.

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Tiffany  (TIF) - Get Report estimated Thursday that sales during the holiday period rose 1% to 3% from a year earlier. The shares finished little changed at $133.62.

Tesla TSLA rose 1.3% to nearly $431 on Thursday after Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote that sales and demand for the company's Model 3 were on an "upward trajectory" in the fourth quarter. 

Qiagen  (QGEN) - Get Report dropped 21% to $32.91 Thursday after the genetic testing company said it would remain a stand-alone business following a review of strategic alternatives.

Initial jobless claims in the U.S. fell last week by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000. Economists had expected claims would total 220,000.

Jobless claims fell for a second straight week.