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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - This Aug. 23, 2019, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Global stock markets are subdued as investors look ahead to the signing of an interim U.S.-China trade deal. Indexes were mixed in Europe while those in Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea finished higher. Investor focus has shifted to the trade deal as concern over potential U.S.-Iranian conflict has faded. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

Technology companies led U.S. stocks to broad gains Monday, again driving the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes to record highs.

Financial, communications services and industrial stocks also notched solid gains. Health care stocks were the only decliners. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher, and the price of gold fell, signs that investors were favoring higher-risk holdings.

The S&P rose 22.78 points, or 0.7%, to 3,288.13. The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, climbed 95.07 points, or 1%, to 9,273.93. The S&P and Nasdaq previously set new highs Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 83.28 points, or 0.3%, to 28,907.05.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 11.96 points, or 0.7%, to 1,669.61.

The rally, which added to the market's gains from last week, came as investors looked ahead to the signing of an initial trade deal with China and the potential for future talks.

The world's largest economies are expected to sign the first phase of the trade agreement Wednesday. It is being viewed as an opening to future negotiations that will deal with more complicated trade issues.

Even a partial deal should remove much of the uncertainty that has weighed on companies and investors, at least until after the election, said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer for Horizon Investments in Charlotte, N.C.

"We don't think the tariff overhang is going to be very relevant over the next nine months," Ladner said. "Acting tough with China and imposing tariffs two years before an election is a very different story than doing it two months before an election."

Across markets, worries about a recession have faded since last year as central banks cut interest rates and pumped stimulus into the global economy. In addition, the promise of an initial trade deal between the U.S. and China has helped lift markets in recent weeks, easing investors' concerns of further escalation in the costly conflict.

Chip makers were among the gainers in the technology sector Monday. Nivida climbed 3.1% and Micron Technology rose 1.4%. The sector is particularly sensitive to developments in trade relations because many of the companies rely on China for sales and supply chains. Apple also rose, closing 2.1% higher.

Industrial and communication services companies also made solid gains. General Electric rose 3.9% and Facebook added 1.8%.

Health care stocks slumped, with insurance companies among the sector's biggest decliners. Cigna fell 3.2%, UnitedHealth Group slid 3.1% and Anthem dropped 3.6%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.85% from 1.82% late Friday. The pickup in yields helped lift financial stocks, as it makes it possible for banks to charge higher interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans. Goldman Sachs rose 1.3% and Citigroup gained 1.8%.

Electric car maker Tesla jumped 9.8%, closing above $500 for the first time.

Netflix climbed 3% as the streaming video service earned two best picture nominations for the 92nd annual Academy Awards. Both Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story are contenders.

Wall Street was also gearing up Monday for a busy opening week of corporate earnings reports being kicked off by major banks. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup will report fourth-quarter earnings today and Bank of America will follow Wednesday.

Analysts predict corporate profits slid 2% during the fourth quarter, which would mark the first time that earnings for the S&P 500 have fallen four quarters in a row since the period ending in mid-2016, according to FactSet. Companies typically outperform forecasts and temper expectations for sharp declines by the time the bulk of financial reporting is done.

Information for this article was contributed by Damian J. Troise of The Associated Press.

Business on 01/14/2020

Print Headline: Outlook on China sends Wall Street to new highs

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