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Stock Market Live Updates: Stocks inch to new records on trade hopes; Boeing boosted by CEO ouster

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4:00 p.m. ET: Stocks rally on trade hopes; Boeing soars

Wall Street finished the session higher on Monday, setting new records in holiday-thinned trading. TheU.S. and China moving closer to an interim trade agreement provided the spark with Boeing (BA) leading the way.

Here’s where markets ended the session:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): flat, or +2.79 points

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.34%, or +96.61 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.23%, or 20.69 points

  • 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +1.1 bps to 1.919%

  • Gold (GC=F): +0.57% to $1,489.30 per ounce

  • Crude (CL=F): +0.45 to $60.71

Meanwhile, Boeing forced out its beleaguered CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg resigned under pressure from the company, which is struggling to contain the fallout from the 737 MAX’s idling after 2 fatal crashes. Boeing’s stock, which is a Dow component, ended nearly 3% higher on the news.

3:00 p.m. ET: Unicorn IPOs aside, 2019 was a good year

This year’s IPO market was characterized by the stampede of unicorns that face-planted out of the gate — or forfeited ahead of the firing pistol (looking at you, WeWork).

Renaissance Capital crunched the numbers to find out it was a good year after all. Among the firm’s newly-released findings:

  • US IPO Count Falls to 159, Proceeds About Flat

  • IPOs Average a 20% Gain, Driven by Strong First-Days and Several 200%+ Returns

  • Renaissance IPO Index Returns 34%, Outperforming the Broader Market

  • 9 IPOs Raise Over $1 Billion, with Listings from Mega Unicorns Uber, Lyft (LYFT), Pinterest (PINS), and Slack (WORK)

2:30 p.m. ET: Can anything dent the rally?

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, NY, U.S. December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi notes that, with stocks on autopilot, investors seem to be blind to anything that spoils Wall Street’s melt-up. And countless big name strategists are very bullish on equities for 2020. So what gives?

1:55 p.m. ET: Uber catches a break in NYC ‘cruising’ case

Uber’s (UBER) been fighting multi-front battles in major cities like London and New York City, where their services remain wildly popular. The Big Apple has moved aggressively to shield the ravaged taxi cab industry from the disruption of ride-hailing services, but Uber just scored a much needed break on Monday.

Via Reuters:

A New York state judge on Monday ruled in favor of Uber Technologies in a lawsuit against New York City, striking down a new rule limiting how much time drivers for ride-hailing services can spend cruising streets in busy areas of Manhattan without passengers.

Judge Lyle Frank of the Supreme Court of State of New York in his decision called the city's cruising cap "arbitrary and capricious." 

The stock is up around 1% intraday at $30.76.

12:20 p.m. ET: The year of executive turnover continues

Turnover in the C-Suite has been the running theme of 2019, with Boeing’s (BAouster of its CEO the latest in a steady stream of CEO departures. Nike (NKE), WeWork and the C-suite shakeup at Expedia (EXPE) and CEO departures at United Airlines (UAL), represent just a sampling.

And there’s far more than just big companies — Yahoo Finance has been keeping score:

In 2019 so far, 1,480 chief executives at U.S. companies have left their posts, according to a report out on Dec. 11 from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

That’s the highest January-November total of CEO exits since the firm began tracking CEO exits in 2002, and it’s hardly surprising to anybody who’s been paying attention.

12:00 p.m. ET: Nike rakes in the cash on Jordans

When Nike (NKEreported Q2 earnings and revenue that beat expectations on Thursday, it also revealed its Jordan brand had its first $1 billion quarter.

Reaching $1 billion is no small feat, and it was due in no small part to the Air Jordan I, which Nike refers to as “one of the world’s hottest franchises,” Yahoo Finance’s Reggie Wade writes.

11:15 a.m. ET: Why the market will “pop” in 2020

Beginning Nov. 17, Sprint Unlimited Freedom will include Hulu. To celebrate their partnership, Sprint created quite the sweet (and salty) surprise for consumers – eight different flavors of popcorn that give consumers a taste of their favorite Hulu show. (AJ Mast/AP Images for Sprint)

Veteran market watcher Jim Paulsen at The Leuthold Group believes that the economy’s backdrop — fiscal and monetary stimulus, a U.S.-China trade deal and rock-bottom interest rates, among other things — bode well for the stock market:

Is a “pop in profits” the next shoe to drop on Wall Street? Profits do not need to surge, but they do need to soon show some signs of revival. Despite relatively flat earnings results this year, the stock market has been swayed by significantly lower valuations from the late-2018 stock market collapse, considerably lower and persistently declining interest rates, and by chronically fearful investor sentiment. These favorable forces are no longer as prevalent, so for the stock market to continue advancing in 2020, it needs some good old-fashioned earnings growth!

...While corrections and “gut checks” for investors should be expected during 2020, even a modest acceleration in U.S. profits would likely be enough for a further advance in the stock market. The last time profit growth was rising, the 10-year bond yield was about 3.25% and the annual rate of consumer price inflation was 3%. An improvement in earnings growth during 2020 would likely occur when most portfolios are still underweighted “risk-on” investments, with a sub-2% 10-year Treasury yield, and from only a 2.1% inflation rate.

10:30 a.m. ET: Tesla extends gains after Chinese debt deal

Tesla’s stock (TSLA) has been on a tear lately, and on Monday it rallied by over 3% to a new intraday high. Those gains took the stock just above the $420 “funding secured” level that landed CEO Elon Musk in hot water last year with investors and regulators.

According to Bloomberg, the car maker is closing in on a $1.4 billion debt deal in China that will help it deliver locally-made Model 3s in the country.

Musk, who said he initially came up with the $420 as an allusion to weed, gave a nod to that reference in a joke on Twitter:

10 a.m. ET: New home sales rose in November

The Commerce Department said on Monday new home sales rebounded 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 719,000 units last month. The gain was fueled by buying sprees in the Northeast and West regions. Yet October's figure was revised down to 710,000 units, from the previously reported 733,000 units.

10 a.m. ET: Jefferies: Why Amazon’s one-day delivery is a game-changer

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo Amazon Prime boxes are loaded on a cart for delivery in New York. Amazon, which is racing to deliver packages faster, is turning to its employees with a proposition: Quit your job and we’ll help you start a business delivering Amazon package. The offer, announced Monday, May 13, 2019, comes as Amazon seeks to speed up its shipping time from two days to one for its Prime members. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

In new research, Jefferies made a comprehensive case for why Amazon’s push for 1-day delivery would usher in a “more rapid transition away from brick and mortar retail.” In a survey, the research firm found that:

...U.S. Prime users [show] strong interest in one-day, along with the potential for a material increase in usage, to the extent Amazon is able to further the program to include the majority of its items. Specifically, 55% of U.S. Prime members expect to use Amazon more with one-day, on average ~30% more, if most items are included.

Amazon’s ramped-up spending on delivery infrastructure will be a drag on operating income in Q4, but Jefferies has an “Overweight” rating with a price target of $2,150. The stock changed hands around $1788 on Monday, up marginally on the day.

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks rally on trade hopes; Boeing soars

Wall Street opened higher on Monday after setting fresh records last week, spurred by U.S. and China moving closer to finalizing an interim trade agreement. Meanwhile, embattled Boeing CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg resigned under pressure from the company, which is struggling to contain the fallout from the 737 MAX’s idling after 2 fatal crashes. Boeing’s stock, which is a Dow component, spiked over 2% on the news.

Here’s where markets began Monday’s session:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.13%, or 4.11 points

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.37%, or 105.05 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.21%, or 19.12 points

  • 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +1.1 bps to 1.919%

  • Gold (GC=F): -0.31% to $1,485.90 per ounce

  • Crude (CL=F): -0.31 to $60.25

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