Major U.S. stock-market benchmarks ended Monday’s session at records as investors remained attuned to developments in the U.S.-China trade relationship and cheered a wave of merger activity.
How did the major benchmarks fare?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
advanced 190.85 points, or 0.7%, to end at 28,066.47, while the Nasdaq Composite
climbed 112.60 points, or 1.3%, to 8,632.49. The S&P 500 index
ended 23.35 points higher at 3,133.64, a gain of 0.8%.
The Dow ended the day above its previous closing high of 28,036.22 set Nov. 18, the S&P 500 surpassed its previous closing record of 8,570.66 set on Nov. 19, while the Nasdaq finished the session above its last closing high of 3,122.03 set on Nov. 18. All three benchmarks also set new intraday highs on Monday.
What drove the market?
Analysts said investors remain sensitive to headlines around U.S.-China trade talks, with remarks Saturday by Robert O’Brien, the U.S. national security adviser, in the spotlight. O’Brien told reporters at a security conference in Halifax that a “phase-one” deal between the U.S. and China by the end of the year still appeared possible, Reuters reported, while also warning that the U.S. would not “turn a blind eye to what’s happening in Hong Kong or what’s happening in the South China Sea, or other areas of the world where we’re concerned about China’s activity.”
Contributing to the positive tone, the Chinese government on Sunday released a document calling for more protection of intellectual-property rights.
“The Chinese government have typically offered to purchase more agricultural goods from the U.S., but that will only gain a limited amount of traction with the Trump administration, but genuine progress regarding IP could help get phase one wrapped up,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC, in a note.
Meanwhile, the pro-democracy opposition in Hong Kong swept to a resounding victory in weekend elections, winning a commanding majority in the vote for 452 district council seats. District councils have little power, but the showing could put pressure on the government to negotiate with protesters demanding democratic elections for the city’s legislature and chief executive. The result is also seen as a defeat for Beijing, which has pushed Hong Kong to crack down on protests.
On the economic front, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for October fell to a reading of negative-0.71, from negative-0.45 in the previous month. The Dallas Fed manufacturing index rose to a negative-1.3 in November from negative-5.1 in October.
Investors will hear from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at 7 p.m. Eastern, when he is scheduled to deliver a speech on building gains on a long expansion.
What stocks were in focus?
In corporate news, The Charles Schwab Corp.
and TD Ameritrade
announced a deal that will see Schwab acquire Ameritrade in an all-stock transaction valued at around $26 billion. Reports that the two discount brokers were in talks for a potential merger broke last week, sending shares of both companies higher. Schwab shares gained 2.3% Monday, while Ameritrade shares rose 7.6%
Shares of Uber Technologies Inc.
fell 1.5% after the global ride-hailing company was stripped of its London license.
General Electric Co. shares
closed 0.3% higher after the company said it named Carolina Dybeck Happe as its chief financial officer effective in early 2020. Dybeck Happe, CFO of shipping company A.P. Moeller-Maersk, will replace Jamie Miller, who is leaving the company.
LVMH said Monday that it would purchase U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co.
for $16.2 billion in cash, adding to the luxury goods company’s stable of brands including Louis Vuitton and Dior. Shares of Tiffany climbed 6.2%.
Ebay Inc. shares
closed up 2.1% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the retailer was nearing a deal to sell its ticketing business StubHub to Viagogo for $4 billion, citing people familiar with the matter.
The stock of Nvidia Corp.
rose 4.9% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the semiconductor firm’s stock to overweight.
How did other markets trade?
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note
fell about one basis point to 1.762%.
In commodities and precious metals, gold extended its drop after falling on Wednesday, with gold for December delivery
falling $6.70, or 0.5%, to settle at $1456.9 an ounce on Comex. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery
rose 24 cents, or 0.4% to settle at $58.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
representing a basket of the greenback’s trading rivals, rose about 0.1%.
Meanwhile, the Stoxx Europe 600
closed up 1%. In Asia, stocks traded higher; the China CSI 300
closed up 0.7%, Japan’s Nikkei 225
gained 0.8% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng