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Wall Street set for fourth straight week of gains on trade optimism

Trade-sensitive industrials stocks rose 0.85 per cent while the Philadelphia SE semiconductor index climbed 0.55 per cent


Wall Street

Wall Street's main indexes were on track for their fourth week of gains on Friday, led by technology and industrial stocks, amid hopes that a bitter trade war between the and China would finally come to an end.

Also helping sentiment was the latest data showing US increased by the most in 10 months in December, which could allay fears of a sharp slowdown in factory activity.

The trade optimism was carried over from late Thursday session following a report that U.S. Treasury Secretary was considering lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports. The Treasury denied Mnuchin had made any such recommendation.

Trade-sensitive industrials stocks rose 0.85 per cent while the Philadelphia SE semiconductor index climbed 0.55 per cent. A 0.6 per cent rise in technology sector was the biggest boost to 500.

The benchmark index, which closed above its 50-day moving average for the first time since Dec. 3, is now about 11 per cent away from its Sept. 20 record close after having rallied from a 20-month low on Christmas Eve.

"Usually these 'rumors' aren't necessarily untrue, they just aren't true yet, which generally means there is some progress going on but they just don't want to tell anyone yet," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

"Whenever you see a major broad market index cross through these moving averages then it tends to result in a small upturn."

Schlumberger rose 5.27 per cent after the world's largest oilfield services provider reported a quarterly revenue beat.

The energy sector, which is the best performing sector so far in 2019, rose 1.06 per cent, boosted by higher oil prices.

At 9:41 a.m. EDT the was up 130.77 points, or 0.54 per cent, at 24,500.87, the 500 was up 14.67 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 2,650.63 and the was up 27.93 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 7,112.39.

Late on Thursday, posted record new subscriber additions in the fourth quarter but investors were disappointed with its current-quarter revenue forecast.

Shares of the world's largest streaming service fell 1.97 per cent, pulling back from a more than 4 per cent decline in premarket trade.

Netflix remains the best performing FAANG stock this year, rising more than 30 per cent. Rest of the FAANG members, which will report their quarterly results in the coming weeks, rose between 0.5 per cent and 0.9 per cent.

American Express Co fell 2.68 per cent and was the top decliner on the Dow after the credit-card company's fourth-quarter profit fell short of estimates.

Shares of Tesla Inc slid 6.80 per cent after the company said it would cut 7 per cent of its workforce and forecast a smaller quarterly profit, compared with the preceding quarter.

Earnings season gains momentum as more than 50 S&P 500 companies report results in the upcoming holiday-shortened week, with the U.S. stock exchanges closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Analysts have lowered their fourth-quarter earnings forecast for S&P 500 companies to 14.2 per cent from 20.1 per cent estimated on Oct. 1, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.72-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded nine new highs and five new lows.


(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

First Published: Fri, January 18 2019. 20:35 IST