NEW YORK, Nov 28 — Wall Street's main indexes closed at record levels for a third straight day in a muted volume session yesterday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, as fresh data pointed to an economy on solid footing, while investors remained cautiously optimistic about a resolution to US-China trade tensions.
US economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, rather than slowing as first reported, and a steady increase in consumer spending in October indicated the economy will probably maintain its moderate pace of growth in the fourth quarter.
“From a macro perspective it really sits with the narrative of this growing but continue to slow environment,” said Bill Northey senior investment director at US Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
"It averted some of the greater concerns that this might be something more than just a slowdown to trend that we’ve been facing over the past quarter."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42.32 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 28,164, the S&P 500 gained 13.13 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 3,153.65 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.24 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 8,705.18.
Consumer discretionary stocks rose 0.83 to lead all sectors.
Data also showed new orders for key US-made capital goods increased by the most in nine months in October.
President Donald Trump's comments on Tuesday that the United States was in the “final throes” of work on an agreement with China added to optimism.
The main indexes have repeatedly scaled to record levels this month on trade truce hopes, a third-quarter earnings season that topped lowered expectations and a dovish Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 has now closed at a record level in five of the past nine sessions.
Trading volumes were among the lowest of the year for a full-day session ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday today. The stock market will close early tomorrow.
Capping gains on the Dow was a 1.48 per cent drop in shares of Boeing Co after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would be the only issuer of airworthiness certificates for new 737 MAX jets, the latest hurdle in the planemaker's bid to get the plane back in the air.
Deere & Co dropped 4.30 per cent as the farm equipment maker warned of lower earnings in 2020.
Under Armour Inc jumped 6.17 per cent as Raymond James upgraded the sportswear maker to “strong buy.”
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.76-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.98-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 44 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 117 new highs and 35 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.57 billion shares, compared to the 7.06 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days. — Reuters