US stocks edge to records again after solid economic data

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks edged to records again on Tuesday (Dec 17) after good economic data added to positive momentum following announcement of a US-China trade agreement last week.

Reports released Tuesday showed a sharp rebound to industrial production in November, while permits to build new homes reached a 12-year peak.

The data allowed equities to scale even loftier heights after last week's US-China trade agreement removed the risk of new US tariffs on Chinese imports and reduced some earlier tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.1 per cent to end at 28,267.16 for its second straight record.

The broad-based S&P 500 was up a hair at 3,192.52, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1 per cent to 8,823.36.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were at records for the fourth straight session.

"The fog has cleared hasn't it?" said Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors, who said greater certainty on Brexit following a decisive British election contributed to the upbeat sentiment.

"Fundamentally, the global economy is on an upswing, not a downswing," she said. "I don't mean it is going to grow rapidly, but it looks better than it did just six or eight weeks ago."

Boeing shares finished flat after a sharp decline Monday ahead of the announcement it was suspending production of the 737 Max due to delays in recertifying the aircraft to fly.

The announcement also weighed on key Boeing suppliers, including Spirit AeroSystems, which dropped 2.8 per cent.

Netflix jumped 3.7 per cent as it reported significant increases in key overseas markets at the same time North American growth has slowed.

The company reported nearly 14.5 million subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region at the end of September, representing growth of more than 50 per cent over the previous 12 months.

Bed Bath & Beyond shot up 11.2 per cent as new chief executive Mak Tritton announced that six senior executives were exiting the company, touting the efforts as a move towards garnering "fresh" perspectives to help turn around the struggling retailer.

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