Major US stock indices rose moderately, aided by reports of progress in trade negotiations between the US and China.
However, further increases were limited by revised US GDP data, which heightened concerns about a slowdown in economic growth. A report by the Department of Commerce showed that US economic growth slowed more than initially reported in the fourth quarter of 2018, due to a revision of consumer and government spending. According to the report, the US GDP grew by 2.2% year on year, which was below the initial value of 2.6% and the forecast of experts 2.4%. Consumer spending, which constitutes a large part of the economy, grew by 2.5% (revised downwards), which also turned out to be lower than expected. In the third quarter of 2018, the US economy grew by 3.4%.
With regard to trade negotiations, the US delegation, led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Finance Minister Stephen Mnuchin, arrived in Beijing for a two-day meeting on Thursday. Reuters reported yesterday evening that China made unprecedented proposals on a number of controversial issues, including the forced transfer of technology by US companies when entering the PRC market. The message is encouraging, but it should be remembered that the market has already expressed hope for a final deal, which has never been reached. Trump's economic adviser Larry Cudlow said that negotiations are not time-dependent.
Most of the components of DOW finished trading in positive territory (25 out of 30). The growth leader was NIKE Inc. (NKE, + 1.15%). The outsider was Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ; -2.95%).
Almost all sectors of the S & P recorded an increase. The service sector grew the most (+ 0.6%). The largest decline was shown by the utility sector (-0.8%).
At the time of closing:
Dow 25,717.46 +91.87 +0.36%
S & P 500 2,815.44 +10.07 +0.36%
Nasdaq 100 7,669.17 +25.79 +0.34%
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