US Stocks Hit Strides On Hopes of China Trade Agreement

US stocks saw a bit of a bump to end the week as US and China wrap another round of trade talks; it appears investors are starting to get a little more confident that the countries will soon strike a new deal. 

With that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 181.18 points, to 26,031.81, mostly on a big jump from Intel.  But this is the first time the 30-stock index broke 26,000 since early November, skating on nine consecutive weeks of gains. That is the longest such streak since May of 1995.  

But the Dow is not the only index to find a little breathing room this week.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced nearly 1 percent, to 7,527.54, as the FANG group (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google/Alphabet) all closed up on the week. This is also the ninth straight week of gains from Netflix, which is its longest such streak since May of 2009. 

Even the small-caps Russell 2000 closed up, nearly 1 percent as well, at 1,590.06. And this was also the longest such streak for this index since 1996.  In addition, the Standard & Poor’s 500 also grew 2,792.67, mostly on the heels of big tech gains.

With all the uncertainty surrounding the economy, stocks have been off to a pretty strong start this year.  So far, all major indexes are up at least 11 percent with the Federal Reserve central bank saying they are poised—but waiting—to raise interest rates.  

The pending US-China trade dispute has also helped to boost equities.  But this is not only important to the United States or to China; settling this trade dispute is good for the global economy. Stabilizing the Chinese economy—especially in partnership with a stronger US economy—would certainly help to stimulate and stabilize the rest of the world, too. 

It should be noted, however, that the market growth is impressive this year because we closed last year after lots of losses. While the US and China, then, are certainly closer to reaching a deal, the hardest part of the negotiations are actually yet to come. And this could lead to more complicated disappointments in the future. 

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