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Stocks bounce back as tech, retail and banks jump

Stocks bounce back as tech, retail and banks jump

November 26th, 2018 by Associated Press in Business

Specialist James Denaro works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Global markets are rising Monday as big technology stocks recover some of their recent losses and retailers and travel companies climb on the first full trading day of the holiday shopping season.

NEW YORK—Global stocks rose Monday after taking big losses last week. Major technology companies recovered some of their recent losses and retailers and travel companies climbed on the first full trading day of the holiday shopping season.

Major indexes in the U.S., Europe and Asia all climbed. London's main stock index jumped after the British government and the European Union agreed to terms governing Britain's departure from the EU in March. It's not clear if Parliament will approve the deal.

Stocks have been in a steep downturn since early October, but that slump has included some substantial rallies. Banks rose Monday as interest rates turned higher after a two-week slide. The first full trading day of the holiday shopping period was a strong one for companies that sell goods and services to consumers. Amazon surged 5 percent and Tiffany rose almost 4 percent.

On Friday the benchmark S&P 500 index closed 10.2 percent beneath the record high it had set in late September. That's the second time this year the index has dropped 10 percent from a recent peak, a mark known on Wall Street as a "correction." The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite and the smaller, more U.S.-focused Russell 2000 have suffered even worse downturns dating to late August.

Stocks have skidded recently as investors have grown doubtful that the U.S. and China will resolve their differences over technology policy and other issues. Their fears could be confirmed or upended in a few days, as U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to discuss their trade dispute at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the end of this week.

"A fair amount of trade escalation between the U.S. and China is being priced in by the market," said Justin Waring, a strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management's Chief Investment Office. "Any kind of statement that there will be a formal trade negotiation round following that meeting would be viewed as positive."

The U.S. is scheduled to raise import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese imports on Jan. 1, and investors are worried China will retaliate. Even if those tariffs do take effect, Waring said stocks could still gain as long as countries say they will hold off on further tariff increases while they negotiate.

The S&P 500 climbed 40.89 points, or 1.6 percent, to 2,673.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 354.29 points, or 1.5 percent, to 24,640.24.

The Nasdaq rose 142.87 points, or 2.1 percent, to 7,081.85. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 17.28 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,505.96.

Among retailers, Amazon rallied 5.3 percent to $1,581.33 and Nike rose 1.7 percent to $72.71. Companies in travel and leisure also surged. Booking Holdings, the parent company of Priceline, gained 2.2 percent to $1,802.44 and MGM Resorts rose 5 percent to $27.11.

Adobe Analytics reported that shoppers spent about $10 billion online Thursday and Friday.

"The U.S. consumer contributes about 70 percent of gross domestic product, and the holiday season is always a big chunk of that spending," said Waring. "The competition is definitely breeding some more interesting sales tactics."

Technology companies have been hit hard during the market's recent slide, and they made some of the largest gains Monday. Microsoft added 3.3 percent to $106.47 and Cisco Systems gained 2.3 percent to $45.57.

General Motors rocketed 4.8 percent to $37.65 after announcing that it will lay off 14,000 factory and white-collar workers in North America and could close five plants. GM said it will increase its focus on autonomous and electric vehicles, and it wants to prepare for a future economic downturn while conditions are still good. Rival Ford rose 3 percent to $9.40. Both stocks are down substantially this year.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 2.4 percent to $51.63 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 2.9 percent to $60.48 a barrel in London.

Crude prices have dropped by about one-third since early October as investors reacted to rising global fuel stockpiles and concerns about slowing economic growth. Representatives of OPEC and other major oil producers will meet in Vienna in early December to discuss a possible cut in production.

The European Union and Britain sealed an agreement governing the country's departure from the bloc on March 29. The deal leaves Britain subject to rules of the bloc at least until the end of 2020. Both pro-Brexit and pro-EU legislators have criticized the proposal, and so it's far from clear if Prime Minister Theresa May can get the pact approved.

Germany's DAX index rose 1.4 percent. France's CAC 40 rose 1 percent and the British FTSE 100 added 1.2 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.8 percent and South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rebounded 1.7 percent.

The dollar rose to 113.64 yen from 112.88 yen late Friday. The euro edged down to $1.1328 from $1.1330.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.06 percent from 3.05 percent. That sent interest rates higher, which helped banks. JPMorgan Chase jumped 2.4 percent to $109.26 and Citigroup climbed 3.2 percent to $63.73.

In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3.7 percent to $1.44 a gallon. Heating oil added 0.9 percent to $1.89 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1.4 percent to $4.25 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold dipped 0.1 percent to $1,222.40 an ounce. Silver lost 0.3 percent to $14.21 an ounce and copper fell 0.1 percent to $2.76 a pound.

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