The main Wall Street indexes ended the last session of the first quarter with growth amid the returning optimism for progress in Sino-American trade talks.
The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the trading session with an increase by 211.22 points and reached a level of 25,928.68 points, with Boeing, UnitedHealth and Caterpillar performed best. The broader S&P 500 advanced by 0.67% to 2,834.40 points, supported by the industry and the health sector. The technology index Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.78% to 7,729.32 points.
The US officials said that China has made proposals on a number of issues, including the forced technology transfer. The Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he had a “productive working dinner” with Chinese official trade representatives. The two countries are restarting their talks in the hope of ending their trade dispute.
The growth on Friday extends the strong performance of the Wall Street indexes in the first quarter. The S&P 500 rose by 13.1%, which is the highest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2009. The benchmark also marked its best first quarter of 1998.
Dow Jones achieved a growth of 11.2% in Q1 2019, which is its best start of the year since 2013. Meanwhile, Nasdaq Composite marks its biggest quarterly increase in the first quarter since 2012, reporting growth of 61.5%.
The rally in the first three months of the year is due to a strong leap against the bottom of Christmas Eve last year, rising optimism in US-China trade talks and a sharp change in the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
The concerns about a possible slowdown in the economy, however, hit the rally amid the worsening economic data. The growth in corporate earnings in the first quarter is also expected to be weak. FactSet data show a drop in profits of S&P 500 companies by 3.7% on an annual basis. However, data from The Earnings Scout show that analysts expect earnings growth to recover in the coming quarters of the year.
In the bond markets, yields on 10-year and 30-year US government bonds rose to 2.414% and 2.82%, respectively.
Corporate stocks performance
CarMax was the best-performing company in the S&P 500, with its shares rising by 9.5% thanks to its strong reporting. Moods were also raised by the shared travel company Lyft, whose stocks added more than 8% of their value on their first trading day.
The shares of technology giants FAANS performed strongly during the trading session. The stocks of Facebook rose by 0.7%, while Amazon and Apple appreciated by 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively. Meanwhile, Netflix and Google stocks appreciated by 0.4%, both.
Boeing rose by 1.9% boosting the industrials sector. Micron Technology rose 4.6% as makers of semiconductors saw solid gains.
Caterpillar and Intel ran hottest among Dow Jones stocks. DowDupont dropped 1.7% after lowering its first-quarter guidance late Thursday.
Shares of the industrial giant General Electric have gained 32% so far in 2019, making it one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500. The stocks of the company appreciated by 1% on Friday, being among the best performers in S&P 500. Other top performers in Q1 2019 include Chipotle, up 63 percent; Xilinx, up 50 percent; Ulta Beauty, up 42 percent; and Best Buy, up 34 percent.