FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2018.....
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to its first record high since January on Thursday as gains in Apple and a decrease in trade fears lifted the 30-stock index. The Dow jumped 251.22 points to 26,656.98 as Boeing, Caterpillar and Apple all rose. The S&P 500 also rose 0.8 percent to an all-time high, its first since late August, as materials, consumer staples and tech outperformed. The broad index close Thursday's session at 2,930.75.
President Donald Trump touted the S&P 500's record in a tweet, saying "Congrats USA!"
The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to 8,028.23 as Amazon also gained 1 percent as the company unveiled several Alexa-powered devices, including a microwave. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also close about 1.3 percent away from a record high. Apple, meanwhile, closed 0.8 percent higher.
Boeing and Caterpillar, two bellwethers for trade, rose 0.6 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
"I think we're moving away from fears of a global trade war to maybe just one with China," said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management. Earlier, "it seemed like more countries would be caught in the administration's cross hairs; now it appears to be just one."
"I'm not at all surprised investors are taking the latest tariffs and the more muted response from China as a positive," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. She noted that trade news have been both a positive and negative catalyst for stocks this year. Hence, a more muted escalation to the trade conflict is seen as a net positive. "But I don't think the worries about trade are completely over, especially if the U.S. tariffs on China increase to 25 percent."
J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon also played down the conflict between the U.S. and China, calling it a skirmish and not a trade war.
General Electric shares fell 3.1 percent after an analyst at J.P. Morgan slashed his price target on the company to $10 from $11. The analyst noted he expects "weaker results at power and some franchise value impact."
Nvidia slipped 2.1 percent after analysts at Morgan Stanley called the company's new gaming card disappointing.
Disney's stock rose 1.7 percent after ESPN announced its video streaming service reached more than 1 million paid subscribers in five months.