Stocks rally as traders are optimistic for a US - China agreement

Stocks finished higher today but pulled back from session highs.

After a higher start, stocks were up nicely in the morning and the S&P was up as much as 0.6%. Things were quiet late morning and then we saw a pullback ahead of the lunch period.

In the afternoon there was an attempt to get back to session highs. But the late session rally fizzled, and stocks finished right around where the day began, with the S&P higher by 0.3%.

Although the S&P gave up early gains, the index managed to close above its 200-day moving average for the 2nd day in a row.

Traders are optimistic and hoping that the U.S. and China will reach an agreement after President Donald Trump said trade talks were going "very well."

Here's where the major indices ended the day:

  • The S&P finished with a 0.3% gain. Up 8 points, the S&P ended at 2,753.
  • The DOW ended 0.5% higher. Adding 118 points, the DOW closed at 25,543.
  • The NASDAQ was up 0.1%. With a 6 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 7,420.
  • Bitcoin finished lower by 0.1%. Down 5, Bitcoin ended at $3,575.

Crude Oil (CL) finished higher for the 2nd day in a row. Up 1.4%, CL ended at $53.86 a barrel. Today's Crude Oil Inventories showed a 3.6 million barrel increase in U.S. stockpiles compared to the 2.1 million barrel increase expected.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) reported mixed earnings results. But the stock jumped 7.0% in spite of the cautious forecast for 2019.

Dish Network (DISH) couldn't shake off worse than expected earnings, and the stock finished the day lower by 7.7%.

There's some movement after-hours, after Cisco (CSCO) and Yelp (YELP) reported better than expected numbers. CSCO is up more than 4% and YELP is up more than 10%. We'll see if the gains hold for tomorrow.

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