October 25, 2019 / 11:53 AM / 21 days ago

S&P 500 nears record high on trade progress, upbeat Intel earnings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday after Washington said it was close to finalizing parts of a trade pact with Beijing and strong quarterly results from Intel Corp (INTC.O) boosted investor sentiment, sending the S&P 500 briefly over the record high close it set three months ago.

During the session, the benchmark index .SPX peaked at 3,027.39, which surpassed its closing record of 3,025.86 on July 26. It ended at 3,022.55, and the S&P 500 total return index .SPXT notched an all-time high.

U.S. stocks rose early after the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said deputy-level talks would continue. President Donald Trump said China wanted “to make a deal very badly.”

Wall Street enjoyed a strong week, boosted by a clutch of better-than-expected third-quarter earnings reports. The S&P 500 posted its biggest weekly percentage gain in seven weeks, the Nasdaq its biggest in eight weeks.

“The little bit of positive trade news has pushed the market up, but it wasn’t all that negative even before this news came up,” said Andrew Slimmon, senior portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management in New York. “There’s not a lot of selling left out there.”

Intel’s quarterly report added to Friday’s upbeat sentiment. The chipmaker’s shares jumped 8.1%, their largest daily percentage gain since January 2018, after the company beat Wall Street revenue and profit estimates and raised its full-year revenue forecast.

The gain in Intel helped propel the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index .SOX to a record high.

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) fell after the e-commerce giant forecast revenue and profit for the crucial holiday quarter below estimates. Amazon shares ended 1.1% lower, well off their session low.

“The market reaction to Amazon wasn’t as bad as people thought, which created a positive atmosphere,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 152.53 points, or 0.57%, to 26,958.06, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 12.26 points, or 0.41%, to 3,022.55 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 57.32 points, or 0.7%, to 8,243.12.

For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.2%, the Dow gained 0.7% and the Nasdaq climbed 1.9%.

Charter Communications Inc (CHTR.O) shares gained 6.2%. The cable operator’s results beat forecasts, fueled by customer growth in broadband services.

Boeing Co (BA.N) shares dropped 1.4% after Indonesian authorities looking into October 2018’s Lion Air crash said the world’s largest planemaker failed to grasp risks in the design of cockpit software on its 737 MAX jet.

Shares of VF Corp (VFC.N) fell 7.3% after the apparel maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as competition intensified for its Vans and Timberland brands.

The next round of earnings due next week includes Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N).

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, NY, U.S. May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.41-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.50-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 83 new highs and 59 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.29 billion shares, compared to the 6.46 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Ambhini Aishwarya in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Nick Zieminski and David Gregorio

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