By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes hit record highs on Thursday, with the S&P 500 crossing the 3,300 mark for the first time, as upbeat earnings from Morgan Stanley and a tech rally added to optimism from an initial U.S.-China trade deal.
Technology stocks <.SPLRCT> provided the biggest boost, with Apple Inc
The Philadelphia Semiconductor index <.SOX> climbed 1.3%.
Global stock markets scaled new highs after Washington and Beijing on Wednesday signed a deal that paused an 18-month long tariff war that had bruised financial markets and crimped global growth.
China is expected to boost purchases of U.S. goods and services in exchange for the rolling back of some tariffs as part of the deal, but concerns remain with several thorny issues still unresolved.
“The Phase 1 trade deal has been largely priced into markets,” said Peter Kenny, founder of Strategic Board Solutions LLC.
“Any movement forward from here, at least in the near-term, is going to be driven by earnings. So far, we do see a sort of a positive tone set by the financials.”
Analysts expect earnings at S&P 500 companies to have dropped 0.5% in the fourth quarter, according to Refinitiv IBES data, the second consecutive decline.
At 9:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 0.49% at 29,173.11. The S&P 500 <.SPX> rose 0.46% to 3,304.56 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> gained 0.70% to 9,323.93.
Data from the Commerce Department showed U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in December, in-line with economists’ expectations.
The numbers follow disappointing holiday sales reports from retailers including Target Corp
Signet Jewelers Ltd
Bank of New York Mellon Corp
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.48-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.55-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 67 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 131 new highs and one new low.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)