As optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal firmed and Apple along with other large caps posted strong gains, major U.S. stock indexes registered record closing highs on Thursday.
Also helping the market were easing concerns over tensions between the United States and Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump refrained from ordering more military action, and Iran’s foreign minister said the missile strikes on Iraqi bases that house U.S. forces had “concluded” Tehran’s response.
Apple Inc gained 2.1% on twin support from data showing iPhone sales jumped more than 18% in China in December, as well as a price target hike by Jefferies on expectations of a strong finish to 2019.
On trade, China’s commerce ministry said Vice Premier Liu He will sign a Phase 1 deal in Washington next week. Trump said his administration will start negotiating the Phase 2 trade agreement soon but that he might wait to complete any agreement until after November’s presidential election.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 211.81 points, or 0.74%, to 28,956.9, the S&P 500 gained 21.65 points, or 0.67%, to 3,274.7 and the Nasdaq Composite added 74.18 points, or 0.81%, to 9,203.43.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s good to finally see something being inked in regard to U.S.-China trade and certainly good to see tensions ratcheted down between the U.S. and Iran. Both outcomes are good news for Apple and the macroeconomy.