Wall St. slips from near-record highs in Christmas Eve trade


(Reuters) – Wall Street dipped from near-record levels heading into the Christmas break on Tuesday, as investors paused after a rally propelled by improving U.S.-China trade relations and lingering optimism about the health of the domestic economy.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

All three major stock indexes notched all-time closing highs on Monday. President Donald Trump further fanned hopes of a trade truce over the weekend by saying the two sides would sign a Phase 1 deal “very shortly.”

The S&P 500 technology sector shed 0.1% and was among the biggest drags on the benchmark index.

The sector has been the best performer so far this year with a near 47% surge.

The wider S&P 500 index is set for its best year since 2013, powered by upbeat domestic economic data and three interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

“This holiday period should be rather calm as trade updates appear very constructive as we near the finalization of the Phase 1 trade deal next month,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, wrote in a note.

Investors were wary at the beginning of the month about the stock market mirroring a slump from December 2018, when trade tensions between the world’s top two economies escalated, marking the worst December on Wall Street since the Great Depression.

At 9:59 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.45 points, or 0.08%, at 28,529.08, while the S&P 500 was down 2.31 points, or 0.07%, at 3,221.70. The Nasdaq Composite was down 6.07 points, or 0.07%, at 8,939.58.

Volumes are expected to be thin this week as traders settle in for the holidays, with the main U.S. stock exchanges to close at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday and remain shut on Christmas Day.

Among individual movers, Advanced Micro Devices Inc rose 2.2% after RBC Capital Markets raised its price target on the chipmaker’s shares on improving data center demand.

Uber Technologies Inc also edged slightly higher after the company said its founder and former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick will resign from the company’s board of directors by the end of the year.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 14 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 51 new highs and 15 new lows.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel

Source : Denver Post