U.S. stocks soared to record highs on Thursday, as the much-awaited preliminary U.S.-China trade deal grabbed investors’ attention. The deal is scheduled to be signed by the two countries next week. Declining U.S.-Iran tensions also soothed investors’ fear about geopolitical uncertainty.
In addition, Dow-component Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) shares jumped considerably in Thursday’s trading session, pushing the index to gain more than 200 points. iPhone sales rebounded significantly in China in December, leading to the stock’s rally.
The three major indexes— the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite — closed in the green on Thursday. Dow hit 28,956.90 after gaining 0.7%, the broader S&P 500 finished at 3,274.70 after rising 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite closed at 9,203.43 after increasing 0.8%.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 1% to close at 12.42 on Jan 9. Finally, advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.36-to-1 ratio.
Investors Flock to Stocks on Trade Deal Optimism
President Donald Trump’s comments on signing of the upcoming trade agreement with China were the center of investors’ attention. According to Reuters, Trump said the agreement could be signed “shortly thereafter” Jan 15, as he spoke to the ABC TV affiliate in Toledo, Ohio.
The Phase One trade deal is expected to lower tariffs on key imports and also increase China’s purchase of U.S. energy, farm and manufactured products. The agreement is also expected to address issues related to intellectual property rights.
Per the Wall Street Journal, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is expected to travel to the United States early next week to sign the trade deal, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Jan 9.
Apple Soars on Strong iPhone Sales in China
Shares of Apple gained as much as 2.1% on Thursday, as demand for iPhones soared once again in China, after the iPhone maker warned investors in January 2019 of the serious slowdown in the Chinese market.
iPhone sales rose 18% in December from the same period last year, much stronger than Wall Street’s projection. Per the data by China Academy of Information and Communication Technology, Apple had shipped about 3.2 million iPhones to China in December against December 2018’s 2.7 million.
China is a crucial market for Apple, as the Asian country accounts for about 17% of the company’s total sales. Apple carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Initial Claims Decline
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ended Jan 4 was 214,000, a decline of 9,000 from the revised level of the week ended Dec 28.The 4-week moving average has moved south as well, registering a decrease of 9,500 from the previous week's revised average to settle at 224,000.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Kinder Morgan Sells Pembina Shares to Reduce Debt Burden
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI - Free Report) recently announced that it has sold all Pembina Pipeline Corporation PBA shares that were received by the company following the divestment of a stake in Kinder Morgan Canada Limited. (Read more)
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