Wall Street posts records amid trade optimism; Boeing juices Dow

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes posted record closing highs on Monday after President Donald Trump said an initial U.S.-China trade pact would be signed soon, while Boeing gave the Dow a big boost after the planemaker ousted its chief executive officer.

Boeing Co (BA.N) shares, which have a particularly big influence on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, gained 2.9% and also lifted the S&P 500 industrials sector .SPLRCI. CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s exit followed a prolonged crisis in which Boeing halted production of its best-selling 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes.

Trump over the weekend said the United States and China would “very shortly” sign their so-called Phase 1 trade pact, which was announced earlier this month and has helped propel the U.S. stock market to records.

The S&P 500 notched a record closing high for a third straight session on Monday and hit an intraday all-time high for an eighth straight session. The Nasdaq closed at a record high for an eighth straight session.

Additionally, China will lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork and avocado to some types of semiconductors next year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 96.44 points, or 0.34%, to 28,551.53, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 2.79 points, or 0.09%, to 3,224.01 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 20.69 points, or 0.23%, to 8,945.65.

Energy .SPNY and industrials were the best-performing S&P 500 sectors, while utilities .SPLRCU lagged the most.

Trading volume is expected to be sparse in a trading week shortened by the Christmas holiday. On Monday, roughly 5.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, well below the 7.2 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

The benchmark S&P 500 has climbed more than 28% so far in 2019, helped by improving investor sentiment over trade relations, interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and optimism the economy will avoid a severe downturn at least in the near term.

Data on Monday showed new orders for U.S.-made capital goods barely rose in November and shipments fell, suggesting business investment will probably remain a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter.

In other company news, Apache Corp (APA.N) shares soared 17.3% after it and French rival Total (TOTF.PA) announced a joint venture to develop a project off Suriname in a deal that gives the U.S. oil and gas producer a cash injection.