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Stocks pop to record highs after USMCA, Google tops $1 trillion market cap

Jonathan Garber

Stocks climbed to fresh records on Thursday, closing near session highs, after the Senate passed the second historic trade deal in as many days following the signing of the phase one trade deal on Wednesday.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is finished, and once ratified by all three countries will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA. The Dow continued to climb past 29,000 after closing above that level for the first time this week.

A run-up in Google also supported the broader market, the search giant topped $1 trillion in market value for the first time.

Earnings from the big banks wrapped up with Morgan Stanley reporting top and bottom-line results that were ahead of Wall Street estimates as revenue from its investment management division nearly doubled from the year prior.

Elsewhere on the earnings front, Signet Jewelers soared after holiday sales outpaced expectations and the company raised its fourth-quarter outlook.

Tesla was under pressure after a report from Dominion Cross Sell said registrations in the state of California fell 46.5 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter as the tax cut for its vehicles ended. Additionally, Morgan Stanley downgraded shares to “underweight,” citing an unfavorable risk/reward and long-term risks to Tesla's business in China.

Southwest Airlines removed the Boeing 737 Max aircraft from its schedule through June 6. The airline is the world’s largest operator of the aircraft.

XPO Logistics surged after saying Wednesday evening that it was exploring strategic alternatives and could spin off one or more of its business units.

American Outdoors Brand, the parent company of gun maker Smith & Wesson, announced CEO James Debney will be replaced after conducting “nonfinancial” behavior that broke company rules.

Looking at commodities, gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,552.10 an ounce and West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 1.1 percent at $58.45 a barrel.

U.S. Treasurys were slipped, causing the yield on the 10-year note to climb by 1.8 basis points to 1.806 percent.

Economic data out Thursday morning was better than expected as retail sales ex-autos, the Philadelphia Fed and initial claims all beat expectations.  

Markets were weaker across Europe with Britain’s FTSE down 0.4 percent while Germany’s DAX was unchanged and France’s CAC was up 0.1 percent.

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In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.5 percent after the signing of the phase one trade deal while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

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