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Stock Market Live Updates: Stocks hit record closing highs

Sam Ro
Managing Editor

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4:01 p.m. ET: Stocks hit record closing highs

Here’s where the markets settled at the end of regular equity trading Monday.

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.75%, or 23.73 points

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.41%, or 114.69 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.93%, or 81.65 points

  • 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +5.4 bps to 1.875%

  • Gold (GC=F): -0.03% to $1,480.80 per ounce

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2:42 p.m. ET: Amazon blocks its sellers from using FedEx Ground for Prime shipments

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is blocking its third-party sellers from shipping via FedEx (FDX) Ground for Amazon Prime shipments over what Amazon says has been a decline in quality of FedEx’s service, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon said it would resume service with FedEx if “delivery performance of these ship methods improves.”

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1:57 p.m. ET: SEC charges ex-Goldman Sachs executive in bribery scheme

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against former Goldman Sachs (GS) executive Tim Leissner for bribing government officials to secure contracts for the company. According to the SEC, Leissner received more than $43 million in illicit payments and has agreed to a settlement that includes paying $43.7 million in disgorgement and permanent barring from the securities industry.

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12:16 p.m. ET: There’s a new top bull on Wall Street

Piper Jaffray sees the S&P heading to 3,600, which makes the firm the most bullish of the forecasters followed by Yahoo Finance.

From Piper: “We are establishing a 2020 S&P 500 price objective of 3,600. Our 2020 price objective is based on our bottom-up point and figure model and implies 15% upside from current levels. In terms of valuation, this represents 20x ’20 consensus estimates of $180.50. We believe the market multiple will modestly expand in this low-interest rate environment, and our expectation is for growth to exceed consensus forecasts.”

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11:19 a.m. ET: Stocks are up

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 11:19 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.81%, or 25.74 points

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.6%, or 168.29 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +1.05%, or 91.75 points

  • 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +6.3 bps to 1.884%

  • Gold (GC=F): -0.11% to $1,479.60 per ounce

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10:00 a.m. ET: Homebuilder sentiment hits 20-year high

The NAHB’s index of homebuilder sentiment jumped 5 points to 76 in December, its highest level since June 1999.

“Builders are continuing to see the housing rebound that began in the spring, supported by a low supply of existing homes, low mortgage rates and a strong labor market,” NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said.

“While we are seeing near-term positive market conditions with a 50-year low for the unemployment rate and increased wage growth, we are still underbuilding due to supply-side constraints like labor and land availability,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted. “Higher development costs are hurting affordability and dampening more robust construction growth.”

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9:45 a.m. ET: Business activity growth hits 5-month high

IHS Markit’s flash U.S. composite PMI climbed to 52.2 in December, up from 52.0 in November. This was driven by the services subindex that rose to 52.2 from 51.6 a month ago. Meanwhile, the manufacturing subindex fell to 52.5 from 52.6.

From IHS Markit’s Chris Williamson: “The surveys bring welcome signs of the economy continuing to regain growth momentum as 2019 draws to a close, with the outlook also brightening to fuel hopes of a strong start to 2020. Business activity, order book and jobs growth all accelerated to five-month highs in December, buoyed by rising domestic sales and further signs of renewed life in export orders.”

“The brighter news needs to be caveated, as the overall rate of economic expansion signalled by the surveys remains well below that seen this time last year, commensurate with GDP rising at an annualised rate of just over 1.5%. Importantly, however, the welcome signs of improvement help to ward off recession risks and should keep the Fed on hold in the coming months. The upward trajectory in the surveys support our expectations that the US economy is on course to see another year of abovepotential GDP growth of approximately 2.2% in 2020.”

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9:37 a.m. ET: A 737MAX production pause may be Boeing’s best option

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have reported that Boeing (BA) may pause production of its troubled 737MAX. BA shares are down about 2% in morning trading.

Analysts at Bank of America think this might be a smart move. From their note: “A pause in the 737MAX would be disruptive to the supply chain. A pause also could make it more difficult for the supply chain to get back to previous production rates. Hence, Boeing management maintained production of the 737MAX despite the grounding albeit at a lower production rate than what was expected before the 2nd 737MAX crash. With no concrete timeline for return into service and with an inventory burn of about $5.5bn for every quarter, there is only so much that the Boeing balance sheet can sustain particularly since we are now approaching third quarters of grounding.“

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9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks hit new record highs

Stocks are trading at all-time highs to kick off the week. Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:30 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.6%, or 19.07 points

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.34%, or 96.69 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.67%, or 59.58 points

  • 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +3.6 bps to 1.857%

  • Gold (GC=F): +0.05% to $1,482.00 per ounce

An actor dressed as Santa Claus visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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