Stocks wrap record week, as trade deals and economic data drive the bulls

Strong economic data and two major trade deals power equities higher

Stocks continued their record run Friday as all three major averages closed at all-time highs, boosted by strong housing data and two major trade deals that are expected to lift U.S. GDP by 0.5 or even 0.75 percentage points, say White House officials.

For the Dow and S&P 500, it is the second straight week of gains, for the Nasdaq it is week six.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SP500 S&P 500 4967.23 -43.89 -0.88%
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 37986.4 +211.02 +0.56%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15282.009722 -319.49 -2.05%

Housing starts surged 16.9 percent in December to an annualized 1.608 million units, the census bureau said Friday, topping the 1.375 million units that were expected by the Refinitiv consensus. Meanwhile, building permits slipped 3.9 percent to 1.416 million units, but that was coming off a strong November reading. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a consensus of 1.468 million units.

As stocks powered higher, President Trump tweeted in celebration.

"Heading to Florida for big Republican Party event. New Stock Market Record. Jobs in USA at all-time high!"

The gains this week came amid two historic trade deals including the Senate’s ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The day prior, President Trump and a Chinese official inked a partial trade deal. Together, the two deals cover more than $2 trillion of trade.

Trump also hyped the deals while hosting LSU Tigers on Friday at the White House.

The Dow gave up a big portion of its early gains after Boeing announced the discovery of a new software issue with the 737 Max. The planemaker, which was downgraded by the rating agency Fitch, said it is "making necessary updates and working with the FAA" to rectify the problem.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 169.82 -0.41 -0.24%

Homebuilders were mixed after the strong housing data.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TOL TOLL BROTHERS INC. 112.22 -0.96 -0.85%
LEN LENNAR CORP. 150.18 -2.32 -1.52%
KBH KB HOME 60.99 +0.62 +1.03%

Meanwhile, Google-parent Alphabet gained after it became the fourth U.S. company to reach a $1 trillion market capitalization.

Gap shares fell after torpedoing plans to spin-off the discount chain Old Navy. The company said the “cost and complexity of splitting into two companies, combined with softer business performance” limited its ability to create the appropriate value from such a separation.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 154.09 -1.92 -1.23%
GPS GAP INC. 20.76 -0.27 -1.28%

Looking at earnings, the oil field services provider Schlumberger reported a full-year loss of $10.1 billion after writing down the value of two of its acquisitions and amid declining demand for its fracking services in North America.

The logistics-services provider JB Hunt Transportation Services reported fourth-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Pinterest edged higher after Walls Fargo upgraded shares to “overweight” and raised its price target to $30 from $28 due to strong fundamentals and solid user engagement. Additionally, UBS cut its price target to $24 from $28.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SLB SLB NV 49.83 -1.10 -2.16%
PINS PINTEREST INC. 32.40 -0.51 -1.55%

On the commodities front, gold was up 0.5 percent to $1,558.10 an ounce and West Texas Intermediate crude oil was higher by 0.3 percent at $58.70 a barrel.

U.S. Treasurys were lower, causing the yield on the 10-year note to climb by 2.1 basis points to 1.83 percent.

Markets rallied across Europe with France’s CAC up 1 percent, Britain's FTSE gaining 0.9 and Germany’s DAX higher by 0.7 percent.


Hong Kong’s Hang Seng paced the advance in Asia, up 0.6 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei added 0.5 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite ended little changed.