S&P 500, Dow eke out records; Nasdaq win streak ends

The Nasdaq snapped an 11-day streak of gains on Friday after some late-session weakness, but the S&P 500 and the Dow scratched out record closing highs with slight gains as a year-end rally chugged along.

With only two trading days left for the year, the benchmark S&P 500 has climbed more than 29% so far in 2019, its biggest annual percentage gain since 2013. Trading volume has been thin during the holiday-shortened week and could continue to be sparse through the New Year’s holiday on Wednesday.

Data on Friday showed profits at China’s industrial firms grew at the fastest pace in eight months in November, but broad weakness in the country’s domestic demand remains a risk for company earnings next year.

Investor expectations that the United States and China will soon sign a Phase 1 trade deal has added momentum to the stock market heading into 2020.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 23.87 points, or 0.08%, to 28,645.26, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.11 points to 3,240.02 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 15.77 points, or 0.17%, to 9,006.62.

Among S&P 500 sectors, consumer staples .SPLRCS, real estate .SPLRCR and utilities .SPLRCU were the top performers. Energy .SPNY and materials .SPLRCM lagged among the sectors.

Aside from optimism over trade relations, the stock market has been lifted by interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and better-than-feared economic data and corporate profits.

About 5.2 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.8 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.