US stocks edge up from records on strong housing data

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange January 10, 2020. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange January 10, 2020. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Jan 17 — Wall Street stocks added modestly to records early today following good US housing data and some better-than-expected Chinese economic reports.

Construction of new US housing shot to a 13-year high last month, according to Commerce Department data that added to positive investor sentiment following the US-China trade deal signed earlier in the week.

Data from China showed economic growth in 2019 fell to a three-decade low. The drop was expected, but other economic reports on industrial production and retail sales in the country outperformed in December.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 29,333.80, up 0.1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent at 3,322.68, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.1 per cent to 9,368.70.

US stocks finished at all-time highs Thursday, the latest records following benign developments on trade and more accommodative monetary policy.

Analysts see few economic clouds on the horizon the short term but worry that high stock valuations could prompt a selloff.

Among individual companies, retailer Gap fell 1.0 per cent after it spiked an earlier plan to spin off its Old Navy chain. The struggling apparel company is still looking for a permanent chief executive after ousting the prior leader last fall.

CSX fell 0.8 per cent as it reported lower fourth-quarter earnings on softness in the coal market. — AFP

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