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Stock Market News For Dec 13, 2018

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Markets closed higher on Wednesday on optimism surrounding a possible solution to the ongoing U.S-China trade disputes in the coming month. Also, some reassuring signs in British politics helped boost investors’ confidence. However, stocks ended well below their session highs, as investors pulled back in the last minutes of trading. This saw all three major indexes ending in positive territory. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed 0.6% to close at 24,527.27. The S&P 500 gained 0.5% to close at 2,651.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,098.31, rising 1%. A total of about 8.13 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, higher than the last 20-session average of 8.06 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.02-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.09-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

How did the Benchmark Perform?

The Dow added 157.03 points, after gaining as much as 458.05 points at one time of the session. The gains were led by Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT - Free Report) . Shares of Caterpillar gained 1.7%. Caterpillar has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 increased 14.29 points after gaining as much as 1.9% at one time of the session. Communication services and consumer discretionary led the gains. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) gained 1.1% each. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) gained 0.8%. Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced 66.48 points, helped by a rally in tech stocks. At its session highs, the Nasdaq rose as much as 2.4%. Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) and Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) gained 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively. Shares of Netflix, Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) gained 3.6%.

Trade War Worries Ease

Trade war fears have been rattling markets for a while. However, the United States and China have been making consorted efforts toward reaching a deal and resolving trade disputes. Wall Street Journal reported that China is working toward increasing access to foreign countries to ensure better U.S.-China relations.

The new plan, reportedly, would replace the existing Made in China 2025 plan, a framework that aims at making China self-dependent and a leader in robotics and clean-energy cars. Prior to that, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump in an interview to Reuters had said that he would intervene in the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, if that would ensure a trade deal with China.

These developments raised optimism surrounding a positive outcome to the ongoing trade talks between the United States and China leading to a rally in stocks. The rally was led by industrials, materials and tech stocks.

Reassuring Signs in British Politics

On Wednesday, investors felt somewhat relieved after British Prime Minister Theresa May won a confidence vote from her Conservative Party, with 117 of her lawmakers saying that she was no longer the perfect leader to implement Brexit.

Earlier this week, May had failed to reach a Brexit deal, creating uncertainty for investors. However, May winning the confidence vote on Wednesday was viewed as reassuring signs in British politics that helped lift investors’ sentiments.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Southwest Cuts Q4 Fuel Cost View, Joins Alaska Air, Spirit

High fuel costs have weighed on Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) for most of 2018 like other players in the airline space. (Read More)

P&G (PG - Free Report) Buys Walker & Company, Enhances Beauty Portfolio

Procter & Gamble Company (PG - Free Report) , commonly known as P&G, has taken aboard a startup company — Walker & Company Brands — which deals in providing health and beauty solutions. (Read More)

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