In Brief

Why are US markets hitting record highs?

Optimism over trade deal progress even took the Dow Jones up

US stock markets reached record highs in early trading yesterday, as optimism over the prospect of a US-China trade deal rose again.

On a historic day on the markets, the S&P 500 rose above 3,066.95 points and the Nasdaq also hit a new record of 8,444.99 points.

“That's nothing new,” says CNN. “Stocks hit new records last week. But this time the Dow is joining the record-setting club.” The Dow Jones was up 0.46% in early trading.

Fox News reports that the spikes came after the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that Donald Trump and Xi Jinping have remained in contact while negotiators agree the final language for the “phase one” of the trade agreement between the two natios.

“Stock Market hits RECORD HIGH. Spend your money well!” tweeted Donald Trump.

Pierre Veyrett, technical analyst at ActivTrades, told The Guardian this optimism is “likely to keep on supporting stock prices around the globe this week, especially if US and Chinese data is in line with or continues to beat expectations like last week’s solid non-farm payroll reports”.

Markets around the world rose in response to the Wall Street lead. India’s stock market closed at a new record high, Britain’s FTSE 100 gained more than 1% and the pan-European Stoxx 600 index reached a 21-month high.

However, less positive news for the US came in the form of factory orders data, which fell by 0.6% in September - worse than the 0.1% fall in August, and also worse than the 0.5% decline predicted by experts. The news dampened excitement among traders.

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