US Stocks Hit New Highs as Risk-On Rally Continues


A last-minute burst of selling pulled the major USA stock indexes mostly lower Wednesday, ending the market's five-day winning streak. China, however, has not confirmed any details of its plans for purchases of USA farm products.

Xi stressed the phase one economic and trade deal between China and the United States benefits both sides and the whole world, and noted that the two countries reached the phase one agreement on the basis of the principle of equality and mutual respect.

Mnuchin's comments come just a week after the US and China reached an agreement in the phase one deal, which included tariff relief, increased agricultural purchases and certain structural changes to intellectual property and technology issues.

The S&P 500 has already risen 28.5 percent this year, while the Dow and Nasdaq rose 22 percent and 34.5 percent respectively. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 0.3% to 27,871.35, while the Sensex in Mumbai advanced 0.1% to 41,727.67.

The Russell 2000 picked up 33.93 points, or 2.1%. Boeing shares fell 1.0%.

The President had warned months ago that his impeachment would roil markets, but traders say it has virtually no impact.

More data arrived on Friday showing US households continue to spend amid a healthy job market.

Rain and wind weather warnings extended for Wales
A Met Office spokesperson said: "Strong south-easterly winds are expected to develop during Wednesday afternoon". The warning for strong winds is in place from 2pm on Wednesday, December 18, until 3am on Thursday, December 19.

Since 1950, the S&P 500 has gained 1.3 percent on average in the last five trading days of the year and the first two trading days of the following year, giving it the "Santa Claus rally" moniker. Rite Aid, Conagra Brands and Micron Technology rose after posting quarterly results that exceeded analysts' forecasts. That's mostly because they see it as extremely unlikely that he or his market-friendly policies will leave office before the end of his term.

European stock markets closed broadly higher. "That just means that everybody has had an opinion, and whatever opinion that is it's been priced into the market". Advancing points outnumbered gone down ones on the NYSE by a 1.63-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.39-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Still to come, Kansas City Federal Reserve manufacturing activity figures for December will be published at 1600 GMT.

She noted the momentum has been ongoing for the last several months.

The February crude contract dropped 74 cents to US$60.44 per barrel and the January natural gas contract gained 5.5 cents to roughly US$2.33 per mmBTU. Brent crude oil, the global standard, rose 7 cents to close at $66.17 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 109.60 Japanese yen from 109.49 yen on Tuesday.

Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.71 per gallon.