The Dow Jones hit another record on Friday as Xi Jinping praised Trump's phase one deal. But geopolitical tensions lurk behind the scenes.
The Dow secured a triple-digit rally on Friday, fueled in part by Xi Jinping’s extremely-positive remarks about the US-China trade deal. With the USMCA now written into law, trade barriers are fading as a concern for the stock market.
All three of the major US stock market indices advanced around 0.5% on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 136.49 points or 0.48% to strut at 28,513.45, as of 2:58 pm ET.
The S&P 500 surged 0.61%, and the Nasdaq’s 0.49% bounce tracked closely with the Dow’s move.
With the stock market booming, it was unsurprising to see the price of gold dipping just under 0.2% to close the week. Crude oil lost 1.4% as commodities came under pressure from a rally in the US dollar. After breaching the $7,000 handle, the price of bitcoin held steady amid optimism about the upcoming “halving” in 2020.
A significant catalyst for Friday’s rally in the Dow Jones came from an encouraging soundbite from Chinese President Xi Jinping following a phone call with US President Donald Trump.
While the White House has been a constant stream of optimistic statements for months, China has been considerably more coy on the outlook for the trade war.
Today, Xi publicly acknowledged that the US-China phase one deal was good for “the US, China, and the entire world.”
It was not all good news, though. The Chinese leader also expressed his concern about US involvement in controversial regions like Hong Kong and Taiwan.
As the stock market continues to press into record territory, equity bulls are focusing on the future. After a barrage of high-tier economic data this week, there isn’t a lot left in 2019.
Nonetheless, the cupboard is not entirely bare, and economists at ING laid out in a report what traders should be looking out for over the next two weeks of holiday trade:
We have had some better-than-predicted data, which makes it look more-and-more likely that we are in for a period of stable interest rates in the US.
Home sales figures are likely to be supported by the plunge in mortgage rates experienced over the past 12 months while consumer confidence should get a lift from the strong jobs report and rising asset prices.
Nonetheless, it isn’t all positive with the manufacturing ISM likely to remain consistent with ongoing contraction in that sector despite the better trade newsflow.
Another stellar day in the Dow 30 saw the index’s upside capped by trouble in its most heavily weighted stock, Boeing (NYSE: BA), which slid 1.27%. Unfortunately for Boeing bulls, there were two bad headlines on Friday.
Firstly, Boeing’s Starliner failed a NASA mission after its autonomous pilot system didn’t operate correctly. Given that space exploration is an extremely costly business, investors are undoubtedly perturbed by this failure. There are a plethora of well-funded competitors in space exploration, such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, all competing for these lucrative government contracts.
The second issue for BA stock was that a major US airline, United, officially pushed back the 737 MAX’s return to service all the way to June 2020. While not unexpected given recent developments, Boeing had initially suggested the jet could be back far sooner than this.
Nike stock (NYSE: NKE) was the other high-profile loser, down more than 1% as the apparel manufacturer’s recent earnings beat suffered scrutiny. Some concerns over product margins are being raised. Longer-term, there are plenty of analysts who are still optimistic about the outlook for NKE, which is up 30% YTD.
Risk-on for global growth was an obvious theme in many other members of the Dow Jones. Caterpillar erased Thursday’s losses and tech giants Apple and Microsoft moved higher as trade war fears continue to be priced out of the stock market.
Last modified: March 4, 2021 2:40 PM