Wall Street starts 2020 with new records on China stimulus, trade hopes

Wall Street's major indexes notched record highs to open the new year on Thursday, as fresh economic stimulus from China added to optimism fueled by easing trade tensions and an improving global outlook. 


File photo: VCG

China's central bank said on Wednesday it would cut the amount of cash that all banks must hold as reserves, the eighth such cut since early 2018. The move to inject fresh stimulus into the Chinese economy boosted equity markets around the globe. 

The benchmark S&P 500 hit its 11th record high in 14 sessions and posted its largest daily percentage gain in three weeks. The Dow registered its biggest such gain in almost four weeks, and the Nasdaq its greatest in nearly three months. 

Among the S&P 500's sectors, technology and industrials, both of which have high exposure to the Chinese economy, rose more than one percent and led in percentage gains. Shares of Apple Inc, which have been a bellwether of trade sentiment, ended 2.3 percent higher and surpassed 300 U.S. dollars. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 330.36 points, or 1.16 percent, to 28,868.8, the S&P 500 gained 27.07 points, or 0.84 percent, to 3,257.85 and the Nasdaq Composite added 119.59 points, or 1.33 percent, to 9,092.19.