S&P 500 closes at record highs as trade optimism provides boost

The S&P 500 closed in record territory, surpassing its previous all-time best of 3,027.98 that was set in July. It was the 103rd record close since President Trump's election victory and 94th since he took office.

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"The S&P just hit an ALL TIME HIGH," President Trump tweeted Monday. "This is a big win for jobs, 401-K’s, and, frankly, EVERYONE! Our Country is doing great."

However, the major averages slipped off their best levels of the session after the House of Representatives announced its vote to press forward with an impeachment inquiry this week.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES28004.89+222.93+0.80%
SP500S&P 5003120.46+23.83+0.77%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8540.828717+61.81+0.73%

The S&P 500 gained 0.56 percent on its way to booking a record high of 3,039.33. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq closed up 0.49 percent and 1.01 percent, respectively, and are on the doorstep of their own records.

Early sentiment was helped by Trump telling reporters that a phase one of a trade deal with China was "ahead of schedule" to be signed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month.

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Additionally, the European Union agreed to postpone the United Kingdom’s exit from the bloc for three months, paving the way for a departure on, or before, Jan. 31, 2020. It's the third time that Brexit has been delayed. The U.K. was originally supposed to leave the E.U. on Mar. 29, 2019.

Tiffany & Co. shares surged after the fashion powerhouse LVMH made a takeover offer of about $120 a share, or $14.5 billion.

STOCKS, BONDS, GOLD, AND OIL ON TRACK FOR RECORD YEAR

Meanwhile, Microsoft rallied to a record high after winning a $10 billion cloud-computing contract from the Pentagon and in deal news the wearable-device maker Fitbit spiked after Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Google-parent Alphabet was interested in buying the company.

While Pacific Gas and Electric Company was under pressure as hurricane-force winds caused the San Francisco-based utility to cut power to 2.4 million people. Heavy selling briefly pushed the company's market capitalization below $2 billion for the first time.

And on the IPO front, the space-tourism company Virgin Galactic debuted on the New York Stock Exchange at $12.01 a share via a direct listing. Shares trade under the ticker SPCE and closed slightly below the debut price.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TIFTIFFANY & CO125.08+2.07+1.68%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.149.97+1.91+1.29%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.1,739.49-15.11-0.86%
PCGPG & E CORP.7.42+0.72+10.75%
SPCEVIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS INC.9.68+0.02+0.21%

On the earnings front, AT&T's quarterly profit and revenue fell from a year ago, but shares were higher after CEO Randall Stephenson said the company was making progress with activist investor Elliott Management. Additionally, the company said it gained 101,000 wireless subscribers, up from 69,000 a year earlier.

Walgreens Boots Alliance eeked out a gain after beating on both the top and bottom lines.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TAT&T INC.39.50+0.55+1.41%
WBAWALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.62.14+0.66+1.07%

Nearly 40 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings, and so far the results are better than expected, with more than three-quarters beating profit forecasts and nearly two-thirds topping revenue estimates.

U.S. Treasurys were under pressure as risk assets gained. Modest selling ran the 10-year yield up 5.2 basis points at 1.853 percent.

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Investors are looking to the Federal Reserve for another U.S. interest rate cut this week. Investors expect the Fed to cut its benchmark rate by 0.25 percent which would mark the third rate cut this year.

Ken Martin and the Associated Press contributed to this article.