Nasdaq Sets Another Record, Wall Street Edges Higher

Nasdaq Sets Another Record, Wall Street Edges Higher

The S&P 500 inched higher on Tuesday while the Nasdaq was able to scratch out another record on gains in tech and big consumer names.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.6 points, or 0.19% to 20,090.02, the S&P 500 gained 0.5 points, or 0.02% to 2,293.06, and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.67 points, or 0.19% to 5,674.22.

The trades sparked by the Trump administration’s promises to implement pro-growth strategies continued to churn in place, with major US assets little changed on the day after reversing direction in afternoon trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time high on speculation the White House would deliver details on spending and tax plans before the rally faded as oil majors slumped. Treasuries reversed losses, sending the 10-year yield below 2.40%. Central bank commentary set the tone on currency markets, with a Federal Reserve official’s signal that rates may rise in March boosting the dollar before Bank of England figure’s remark that inflation could exceed expectations sent the pound surging. However, crude tumbled.

The US trade deficit fell in December as exports hit their highest level in more than 1-1/2 years amid record shipments of technology products, but strengthening domestic demand points to further rises in imports, which could constrain economic growth. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap dropped 3.2% to $44.3 billion, ending two straight months of increases.

The trade deficit rose 0.4% to a four-year high of $502.3 billion in 2016. That represented 2.7% of gross domestic product, down from 2.8% in 2015. When adjusted for inflation, the deficit decreased to $62.3 billion from $63.9 billion in November. President Donald Trump has blamed US trade policy for the loss of American factory jobs and has vowed to make sweeping changes, starting with pulling out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, and rethinking the NAFTA agreement.

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