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Stock market news: December 20, 2019

Each of the three major stock indices hit fresh record intraday and closing highs again Friday as a December rally charged ahead.

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

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.49%, or 15.86 points

  • Dow (^DJI): +0.28%, or 78.13 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.42%, or 37.74 points

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

  • Gold (GC=F): -0.23% to $1,481.00 per ounce

The Dow stayed in positive territory Friday morning even as a decline in shares of component Nike (NKE) capped gains. The athletic-wear maker late Thursday announced quarterly earnings and revenue that topped expectations. However, a slight miss on margins and North American sales disappointed some on Wall Street after the stock hit a record high during Thursday’s session.

Shares of Dow component Boeing (BA) also declined Friday after a malfunctioned flight kept the Boeing Starliner from reaching its intended orbit, and after United Airlines (UAL) announced it would be pulling the 737 Max from its schedule until June.

Meanwhile, an unchanged print on U.S. economic growth helped keep any investor qualms on growth at bay. The U.S. economy expanded at an unrevised 2.1% clip in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said in its third print on third-quarter GDP Friday.

Consumer spending, however, was upwardly revised from its previous print. Personal consumption rose by 3.2% in the third quarter versus the 2.9% previously reported, bolstering the case that consumer strength has continued to underpin the economic expansion.

“No news is good news on the GDP front this morning. We’re still seeing meaningful growth albeit at a moderate pace,” Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy for E-Trade Financial, wrote in an email. “Looking at this read in aggregate—unemployment is at 50-year lows, the market has hit new high after new high, and major economic indicators like housing continue to show momentum.”

With corporate earnings winding down for the calendar year and economic data releases slowing to a trickle, investors have turned their attention to Washington. There, lawmakers have been clearing the decks before the close of the year, pushing forward several pieces of trade and government-funding legislation.

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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange the day before Christmas in New York December 24, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement after months of negotiating changes, sending forward a key piece of legislation touted by President Donald Trump a day after the chamber voted to impeach him. The agreement is set to be taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate next year, where it requires just simply majority to pass.

Also on Thursday, the Senate passed two spending bills to avoid a government shutdown that had been poised to begin Saturday. The legislation provides $1.4 trillion to fund the federal government and has already been approved by the House. The White House has said Trump will sign the bills, averting last year’s more than months-long partial government shutdown over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border barrier.

Separately, Friday’s session marks the final quadruple witching of the year. The quarterly event occurs when the stock futures and options expire on the same date, and typically brings with it increased trading volumes especially near market close. The S&P, Russell and Nasdaq indices are also poised to be rebalanced at the close.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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