U.S. Stocks Tick Higher in Quiet Session -- Update

Date : 11/18/2019 @ 9:50PM
Source : Dow Jones News

U.S. Stocks Tick Higher in Quiet Session -- Update

By Caitlin Ostroff and Akane Otani 

Stocks drifted higher in a quiet session Monday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to another trio of closing records.

With few major economic and earnings reports on the calendar Monday, the stock market's moves were relatively muted.

The blue-chip average finished up 31.33 points, or 0.1%, to 28036.22, building on gains after rounding out its sixth consecutive weekly advance on Friday. The S&P 500 added 1.57 point, or 0.1%, to 3122.03, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 9.11 points, or 0.1%, to 8549.94.

Energy shares were among the bigger movers. Halliburton and Marathon Oil both lost more than 1.5%, following U.S. crude oil prices lower.

Meanwhile, shares of Xerox Holdings rose 36 cents, or 0.9%, to $39.30 to erase earlier declines after PC and printer maker HP rejected a $33 billion takeover offer. Estée Lauder added $1.90, or 1%, to $192.89 after the beauty-products brand agreed to acquire Seoul-based Have & Be to expand its reach in the Asia-Pacific region.

Later this week, investors say they will be looking out for minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting, as well as fresh data on consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector.

Stocks around the world have managed to push out double-digit gains this year, thanks in part to an easing of monetary policy by central banks, and more recently, signs that trade tensions between the U.S. and China are de-escalating.

China's state media Xinhua reported that senior officials from both nations had "constructive discussions" on Saturday morning regarding each other's concerns about a "phase one" deal.

Still, many investors say they are skeptical the two countries are close to a full resolution of their trade conflict. Talks between the world's two largest economies have hit snags in recent weeks over China's reluctance to commit to specific targets for purchases of U.S. agricultural goods, as well as Beijing's concerns about President Trump's willingness to lift existing tariffs.

"The key to everything we're seeing at the moment is the perception of uncertainty among investors," said Dan Kemp, chief investment officer for Morningstar Investment Management in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "At the moment, we are living through a period where that uncertainty is very visible."

Over in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 1.4%, while the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.6%. China's central bank on Monday lowered its regular reverse repurchase rate for the first time since October 2015 in an effort to boost market confidence and bolster economic growth.

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index ticked down less than 0.1%, with the real estate and utilities sectors among the best-performing groups for the day.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 18, 2019 16:35 ET (21:35 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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