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Stock Market News for Dec 26, 2019

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U.S. stocks were mixed on Christmas Eve, after investors took a breather from the recent market rally propelled by an improving U.S.-China trade relationship and optimism around the domestic economy. The lack of any economic news on Dec 24 also added to the mixed market sentiment. Markets were closed on Dec 25.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 took the road south marginally on Tuesday. The former closed at 28,515.45 after losing 0.1% and the latter closed the session at 3,223.38 after losing 0.02%. The Nasdaq Composite, however, gained 0.1% to close at 8,952.88 to mark its ninth consecutive record close.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 0.9% to close at 12.72 on Dec 24. Finally, advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.32-to-1 ratio.

Phase 1 Deal to Be Signed in January

The United States and China made prominent progress toward the much-awaited January trade agreement earlier this week. Beijing said on Dec 23 that that it would lower tariffs on about 850 products (ranging from frozen pork and avocado to various types of semiconductors).

The tariff changes were done to “increase imports of products facing a relative domestic shortage, or foreign specialty goods for everyday consumption,” China’sfinance ministry announced in a statement. In fact, President Donald Trump said on Dec 24 that he and his Chinese counterpart will have a signing ceremonyto sign the first phase of the U.S.-China trade agreement.

Although it’s unclear when the two leaders would meet next, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had said on Dec 13 that representatives from both countries would sign the phase one trade deal agreement in the first week of January. In addition, it had also been reported earlier that Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He would travel to Washington for the same.

Beijing has yet to confirm specific details of the agreement released by U.S. officials.

Trump Not Worried Over North Korea’s Threat of a “Christmas Gift”

President Trump said on Dec 24 that he wasn’t worried about a threat from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this month to deliver a “Christmas Gift” to the United States unless Washington stood by an end-of-year deadline set by Pyongyang for concessions in exchange of a possible agreement to restrain its nuclear weapons programand found lasting peace.

Trump assured that the surprise will be dealt with “very successfully”.

North Korea’s Vice Minister of Foreign AffairsRi Thae Song, via state-owned media, said in a statement that the end-of-year deadline was nearing for the conclusion of talks between North Korea and the United States.

However, according to Reuters, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Dec 24 that China, Japan and South Koreahave agreed to work together to promote U.S.-North Korea dialogue. The announcement was made after a summit between the three countries. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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