Dow, Nasdaq soar to highest levels of 2019

Stocks rose Friday on optimism, albeit tentative, that current high-level negotiations between the U.S. and China will produce a sweeping deal and end a costly tariff standoff between the world's two biggest economies.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed at their highest levels of the year.

That optimism was fed by China's Xinhua News Agency, which reported that President Xi Jinping called for negotiations to wrap up quickly and also said that recent trade talks had resulted in substantial progress.

Trump last month indicated that he was in “no rush” to complete a trade deal with China, insisting that any deal must include protection for intellectual property. From the American perspective, the challenge is getting the Chinese to move from words to actions and finding an enforcement mechanism that can guarantee that Chinese companies adhere to whatever is finally agreed upon.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35084.53 +153.60 +0.44%
SP500 S&P 500 4419.15 +18.51 +0.42%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14778.263734 +15.68 +0.11%

Investor sentiment also rose on an unexpectedly strong March jobs report.

U.S. employers added 196,000 jobs in March, beating Wall Street’s expectations for an increase of 180,000 on the heels of a measly month for job creation that reignited fears about an impending economic slowdown.

The unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent, while the labor force participation was also little unchanged at 63 percent.

Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, rose by 4 cents to $27.70, following a 10-cent gain in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by about 3.2 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed to more than $63 per barrel in the commodity's fifth straight week of gains. The rally boosted shares of petroleum exploration and production companies.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DNR n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
AR ANTERO RESOURCES CORP 13.61 -0.20 -1.45%
APA APA CORP. 19.08 +0.04 +0.21%
EOG EOG RESOURCES, INC. 73.71 +0.41 +0.56%
APC n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Both McDonald's and Starbucks hit all-time highs.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped 0.44 percent to 2.51 percent.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MCD MCDONALD'S CORP. 244.02 +2.24 +0.93%
SBUX STARBUCKS CORP. 122.38 -0.03 -0.02%

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.38 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended down 0.17 percent and China's Shanghai Composite increased 0.94 percent.

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Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.17 percent, France's CAC 40 added 0.28 percent and Germany's DAX slipped 0.02 percent.