S&P nears record high

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    NEW YORK- The benchmark S&P 500 stock index rose within striking distance of a record high as further signs of progress toward resolution of the US-China trade war boosted shares in sectors sensitive to trade and the global economy.

    US President Donald Trump continued to strike optimistic tones, while White House adviser Larry Kudlow said tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for December could be withdrawn if talks go well.

    “People are continuing to be optimistic that some type of trade truce with China can be pushed forward,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Trade-sensitive technology stocks rose 1.1 percent, adding the most to the S&P 500.

    Semiconductor companies, which derive much of their revenue from China, especially climbed. The Phialdelphia SE Semiconductor Index advanced 1.9 percent.

    The economically sensitive energy and financial sectors led percentage gains on the S&P 500. Energy shares gained 1.9 percent while financials rose 1.4 percent.

    Stocks have also benefited from the steepening US Treasury yield curve as well as better-than-expected corporate earnings thus far, said Mona Mahajan, US investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors in New York. In Monday’s trading, the S&P 500 rose above 3000 to come within 0.7 percent of its record closing high.

    “We’re watching for a breakout to the upside of that range,” she said. “Thus far, the early signs we’re seeing are favorable.”

    Losses in Boeing Co capped gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Boeing shares shed 3.8 percent as several brokerages downgraded ratings on the stock following reports that cast doubt on when the 737 MAX jet will return to service.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.44 points, or 0.21 percent, to 26,827.64, the S&P 500 gained 20.52 points, or 0.69 percent, to 3,006.72 and the Nasdaq Composite added 73.44 points, or 0.91 percent, to 8,162.99. – Reuters