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US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Rally Led by Energy Shares; Apple Hits Record Highs

Homebuilder sentiment surges to 20-year highs
David Becker

US stocks surged on Monday, as investors had a chance of the weekend to absorb the benefits of a US Chinese trade deal. Although there still are several issues to fine-tune, such as when the tariffs will role off and how much Ag the Chinese will purchase, the agreement is a halt of tensions that is upbeat. Apple shares led the market higher with the large-cap technology firm rising more than 1.7%. Homebuilder confidence also surged rising to a 20-year high. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher on Monday led by Energy and Healthcare, real-estate bucked the trend in an upmarket. The Dow Industrials was the worst-performing of the major indices, weighed down by declines in Boeing.

Strong Chinese Data Leads Goldman to Increase its Commodity Forecast

China’s November industrial production and retail sales came in stronger than expected helping to buoy riskier assets. Industrial output rose 6.2% from 4.7% in October compared to expectations of a 5% gain. Retail sales rose 8% from 7.2%. The better than expected data comes in the wake of a phase-one deal that could continue to help Chinese growth.  In the wake of the stronger numbers, Goldman Sachs is raising its 12-month commodity returns forecast to 6.4% which is a 3% increase,  based on calming geopolitical tensions. The firm said that following clarity on the US-China trade deal and UK election, demand for commodities will increase, without any changes to supply.

Home Builder Confidence Surges

The national association of home builder reported that builder confidence in the newly built, single-family home market jumped 5 points in December to 76, the highest reading since June 1999. November’s reading was also revised higher by 1 point. The index stood at 56 last December. The current sales conditions rose 7 points to 84, sales expectations in the next six months rose 1 point to 79 and buyer traffic increased 4 points to 58.

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