Stocks Close at Record Highs, Dow Just Short of 29,000

The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq close at record highs Thursday. The Dow finishes just below 29,000.
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  1. The Dow, S&P 500, the Nasdaq all closed at record highs Thursday, with the Dow closing just under 29,000 as investors' anxiety over an escalation of hostilities between the United States and Iran eased.
  2. Kohl's said sales during the critical holiday shopping season were lower than the same period a year earlier, prompting the retailer to reduced its fiscal-year guidance.
  3. Bed Bath & Beyond is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The housewares retailer missed expectations and the company withdrew its outlook for the fiscal year.

The Dow, S&P 500, the Nasdaq all closed at record highs Thursday, with the Dow finishing just under 29,000 as investors' anxiety over an escalation of hostilities between the United States and Iran eased. 

Investors continued to breathe easier in the wake of President Donald Trump's comments Wednesday, during which he signaled a preference for dealing with Iran through negotiations and sanctions as opposed to military force. Trump ordered the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last week. Iran responded by firing missiles at bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq.

With Iran appearing to indicate that its attacks on American targets in retaliation for Soleimani's killing have "concluded," investors focus shifted to the state of U.S.-China trade relations.

China's Vice Premier Liu He is set to travel to Washington on Jan. 13 for the planned signing of a phase one trade agreement between the world's two largest economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 211.81 points, or 0.74%, to 28,956.90, the S&P 500 was up 0.67% to 3,274.70, and the Nasdaq jumped 0.81% to 9,203.43. Leading the Dow higher were Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report , Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Report.

Kohl's (KSS) - Get Report tumbled after disclosing that sales during the critical holiday shopping season were lower than the same period a year earlier, particularly in women’s clothing. Kohl's said it now expects earnings for the fiscal year to be at the low end of its previously announced guidance range of $4.75 to $4.95.

J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get Report, meanwhile, reported a same-store sales decline during the nine-week holiday season of 7.5%. 

Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report rose Thursday after analysts at Wedbush paced Wall Street with a $195 price target for the world's most valuable tech company.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) - Get Report sank Thursday after earnings at the housewares retailer missed expectations and the company withdrew its outlook for the fiscal year.

The company said it was pulling its outlook for the year because it "expects its sales and profitability to remain pressured during the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter."