Market indexes hit new intraday highs earlier in Wednesday's session, but dipped after the US and China signed the long-awaited first phase of a broader trade deal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average went beyond the 29,000-mark at the end of the session for the first time, up 0.3%, while the S&P 500 hit a record high earlier in the day and closed 0.3% higher. The Nasdaq Composite Index also surpassed its previous record by midday, and ended slightly higher. Among the S&P 500 sectors, utilities posted the most gains, up over 1%, while energy and financials suffered the most, down 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed a landmark phase one trade deal that the White House said would deliver "fairer" trade to the world's largest economy. The 86-page document calls for China to submit an "action plan" within 30 days of the agreement taking effect to strengthen the Asian nation's intellectual property protections. It also says companies operating in China should not be required to transfer technology to a partner and that such transfers should be done on "market terms that are voluntary and reflect mutual agreement."
The pact requires China to increase its purchases of American-made manufacturing and agricultural goods, energy products, and services by $200 billion during this year and 2021. The US and China are to "strengthen cooperation" to work against counterfeiting in e-commerce, according to the text of the agreement. Also, the pact requires language to boost US financial firms' access to the Chinese market.
In corporate news, shares of Target (TGT) tumbled 7% after the retailer lowered its comparable-sales growth expectations following weak holiday sales. Financial stocks declined as today's round of bank earnings mostly disappointed investors, with Bank of America shares closing nearly 2% lower after the second-largest U.S. bank by assets reported its revenue dropping in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp reported its smallest quarterly profit in two years, with its shares tumbling 3%.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell 0.5% to $57.96 per barrel. Natural gas was down 2.9% to $2.12 per 1 million BTU. Gold futures were up 0.8% to $1,556.30 an ounce, while silver was up 1.5% to $18.01 an ounce.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.8% to $12.18, while the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 2.5% to $16.43. Among precious-metal funds, the Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 1.9% to $28.79, while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.6% to $146.02. The iShares Silver Trust was up 1.1% to $16.81.
NYSE Composite Index was up 16.10 points (+0.1%) to 14,053.23
Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 90.55 points (+0.3%) to 29,030.22
S&P 500 was up 6.14 points (+0.2%) to 3,289.29
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.37 points (+0.1%) to 9,258.70
FTSE 100 was up 20.45 points (+0.3%) to 7,642.80
DAX was down 24.19 (-0.2%) to 13,432.30
CAC 40 was down 8.28 (-0.1%) to 6,032.61
Nikkei 225 was down 108.59 (-0.5%) to 23,916.58
Hang Seng Index was down 111.55 points (-0.4%) to 28,773.59
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 16.78 points (-0.5%) to 3,090.04
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