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Stocks - Wall Street Hits New Highs on Trade Deal Reports

Investing.com - The major stock indexes surged to new intraday highs, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices closed at new records on reports that the United States and China have "an agreement in principle" on a phase one trade deal.

The S&P 500 closed up 0.9% at 3,168.57, breaking the old closing high of 3,153.63, set on Nov. 27. It also hit a new intraday high of 3,176.28. The Nasdaq finished up 0.73% to 8,717.32, after hitting an intraday high of 8,745.82. Both closes broke their old records set on Nov. 27.

The Dow Jones industrials were up 0.79%, or 221 points, to 28,132.05. The blue chips had hit a new intraday peak of 28,224.95 in the morning.

The trade deal, according to Bloomberg News, is expected to include "a significant increase in Chinese agricultural purchases" in exchange for the U.S. delaying a new round of tariffs scheduled to take effect Dec. 15 and as much as a 50% reduction in existing levies.

A final text hadn't been approved.

President Donald Trump tweeted early in the day a deal was near, and stocks took off at the open, with the Dow rising as many as 314 points. The market pulled back, cutting the gains by more than half, and then moved higher as more reports of a deal were published. Bloomberg News said late Thursday Trump has signed off on the deal.

The euphoria pushed at least 206 stocks to new all-time or 52-week highs, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), big banks and truck manufacturer PACCAR (NASDAQ:PCAR).

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) share fell 2.7% on a Wall Street Journal report that the Federal Trade Commission may see a court order halting integrating the company's aps into a seemless group. The FTC thinks that could violate antitrust laws. The decline was the third-worst among Nasdaq 100 stocks.

Twenty-seven of the 30 Dow stocks were higher.

The biggest loser was Boeing (NYSE:BA), down 1%. The company withdrew its guidance it would get its 737 Max jetliner recertified this month and flying again early next year. Instead, the company will follow the lead of the Federal Aviation Administration. FAA administrator Stephen Dickson said Wednesday the approval would not come until next year – and wouldn't put a specific date.

The other decliners were 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) and Procter & Gamble(NYSE:PG).

Bank stocks overall were higher independent of the trade question, with the KBW Bank index rising 2.9%. Helping the group was the New York Federal Reserve Bank's announcement Thursday it will conduct repurchase agreement operations totaling $365 billion to ensure banks have enough liquidity.

That came after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's commitment on Wednesday to support the repo market, the lifeblood of banking operations, at least through January. Banks and financial institutions routinely buy and sell securities on a short-term basis to fund their needs.

Oil prices and interest rates moved higher.

West Texas Intermediate crude was up 42 cents to $59.18 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 48 cents to $64.20.

The 10-Year Treasury yield rose to 1.897% from Wednesday's 1.79%.

Gold fell $2.70 to $1,472.30 an ounce in New York, a reflection of declining trade tensions.

Casino operator Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), which has big operations in Macau, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) and fashion retailers L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) and Gap (NYSE:GPS) were among the top S&P 500 performers.

Cell-phone infrastructure company SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC), shopping-center developer Regency Centers Corporation (NASDAQ:REG) anfd home builders Lennar (NYSE:LEN) and DR Horton (NYSE:DHI) were among the worst S&P 500 performers on the day.

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U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.79%