U.S. Markets closed

Solid data, trade hopes lift Wall Street to records

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes closed at record levels for a third straight day in a muted volume session on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, as fresh data pointed to an economy on solid footing, while investors remained cautiously optimistic about a resolution to U.S.-China trade tensions.

U.S. economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, rather than slowing as first reported, and a steady increase in consumer spending in October indicated the economy will probably maintain its moderate pace of growth in the fourth quarter.

"From a macro perspective it really sits with the narrative of this growing but continue to slow environment," said Bill Northey senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"It averted some of the greater concerns that this might be something more than just a slowdown to trend that we’ve been facing over the past quarter."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 42.32 points, or 0.15%, to 28,164, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 13.13 points, or 0.42%, to 3,153.65 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 57.24 points, or 0.66%, to 8,705.18.

Consumer discretionary stocks <.SPLRCD> rose 0.83 to lead all sectors.

Data also showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods increased by the most in nine months in October.

President Donald Trump's comments on Tuesday that the United States was in the "final throes" of work on an agreement with China added to optimism.

The main indexes have repeatedly scaled to record levels this month on trade truce hopes, a third-quarter earnings season that topped lowered expectations and a dovish Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 has now closed at a record level in five of the past nine sessions.

Trading volumes were among the lowest of the year for a full-day session ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday. The stock market will close early on Friday.

Capping gains on the Dow was a 1.48% drop in shares of Boeing Co <BA.N> after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would be the only issuer of airworthiness certificates for new 737 MAX jets, the latest hurdle in the planemaker's bid to get the plane back in the air.

Deere & Co <DE.N> dropped 4.30% as the farm equipment maker warned of lower earnings in 2020.

Under Armour Inc <UAA.N> jumped 6.17% as Raymond James upgraded the sportswear maker to "strong buy".

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.76-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.98-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 44 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 117 new highs and 35 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.57 billion shares, compared to the 7.06 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.


(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Alistair Bell)