Spotlight: Dow closes above 29,000 after China-U.S. phase-one trade deal

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-16 14:12:39|Editor: Liu
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NEW YORK, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street finished Wednesday's session higher, with the Dow closing above the 29,000 mark for the first time, after Beijing and Washington inked the highly anticipated phase-one trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 90.55 points, or 0.31 percent, to 29,030.22. The S&P 500 rose 6.14 points, or 0.19 percent, to 3,289.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.37 points, or 0.08 percent, to 9,258.70.

The blue-chip stock index had jumped 187.92 points to hit a fresh record of 29,127.59 in intraday trading. At the session high, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained as much as 0.5 percent each.

"The big takeaway from today's signing of the phase one trade agreement between China and the United States is that forward progress is being made to deescalate the trade tensions," Mark Otto, a Senior Trader on the New York Stock Exchange and Global Market Commentator at GTS, told Xinhua Wednesday.

"The market set a new high before surrendering some of those gains," as traders are anxiously expecting the next phase, he added.

China and the United States formally signed their phase-one economic and trade agreement in Washington on Wednesday, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump inking the papers at the White House.

The move has helped lift investor sentiments, contributing to the market rally, said analysts.

"Everybody is welcoming the trade deal," Peter Tuchman, an experienced trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, told Xinhua.

"The formality of it all clearly gives some confidence that this is a real deal," he said.

Tuchman' remarks were echoed by many analysts on the positive implications of the trade agreement.

"It's a really nice thing and a positive note of both countries behalf that they signed an agreement," indicating the two sides are "putting their best foot forward," Larry Benedict, CEO & Founder of The Opportunistic Trader, a U.S. market research firm, told Xinhua.

Trade issues have been a big part of market anxieties since 2018 and the U.S. equities experienced a tumultuous summer in 2019 full of huge rips and terrifying dips as the tariffs and surrounding uncertainty weighed on stocks.

"After the first phase of the trade deal has been agreed upon investors have breathed a collective sigh of relief," David Bartosiak, market strategist at Zacks Investment Research said in a note on Wednesday.

While cheering the long-awaited signing of the deal, experts noted further efforts are needed to tackle the remaining tough issues.

Calling China "a humongous economic powerhouse" and "a big trade partner" for the United States, Benedict said it is critical for the world's two largest economies to coordinate with each other.

"It's important that we try and understand the trade deal first, and then we are made aware of what phase two is," said Tuchman.

Looking ahead, fundamentals including S&P 500 earnings and macroeconomic data as well as Middle East geopolitical risks are among the major focus for traders, noted analysts.

The fourth-quarter corporate earnings season kicked off this week, with low expectations for profit growth. Earnings are expected to decline by 0.6 percent for the S&P 500, Refinitiv estimated.

Investors would closely follow the large-cap company's report as big name stocks like Apple, Google and so on contributed a significant part of market gains for the past year, said Benedict.

Big banks were among the early bunch of companies that released quarterly earnings. Both Goldman Sachs and Bank of America posted mixed results on Wednesday, while J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup reported better-than-anticipated earnings on Tuesday.

About 30 S&P 500 companies have released their quarterly results by far. Of those companies, 82 percent have posted better-than-expected profits, according to financial data provider FactSet.