Fueled by encouragement from President Donald Trump leading into his crucial meeting with China’s president Xi Jinping on Saturday, Wall Street’s major averages all closed near their highs of the day as investors positioned for a potential relief rally on Monday. Caterpillar (CAT) was the Dow’s top performer as industrials packed on gains in the blue chip, while ten of the eleven S&P 500 sectors closed in the green with energy again the notable exception.
Stocks struggled to turn positive earlier in the day, weighed down by heaviness in Europe on the heels of downbeat data on the Chinese manufacturing and services sector coupled with a miss on German retail sales and contraction in Italy’s Q3 GDP. US futures perked up on reassuring remarks regarding the outcome of Saturday’s trade meeting from US trade rep Robert Lighthizer, before retreating back into the red with oil weighing.
The major averages were unable to get any traction away from the flatline until later in the afternoon when Trump told reporters that he expects a positive outcome to tomorrow’s meeting. The pre-emptive move higher in equities before a potential full-blown rally on Monday lifted the Dow by triple digits despite additional losses in oil futures.
In addition to a higher close on Friday, The Dow closed higher for the first time in three weeks with a 5% gain and higher by 1.7% for the month. The S&P 500 was higher by 4.8% this week and a more conservative 1.8% in November, while the Nasdaq gained 5.6% this week but just 0.3% for the month.
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