December 18, 2019 / 4:01 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street hovers at record highs; FedEx sinks

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* S&P 500, Nasdaq hit new record highs

* FedEx tumbles 9% after cutting profit forecast

* Trump impeachment vote in focus

* Indexes: Dow, Nasdaq up 0.1%, S&P flat (Updates to open)

By Uday Sampath Kumar

Dec 18 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq extended a record rally on Wednesday, even as FedEx limited gains after cutting its annual profit forecast for the second time this year.

FedEx shares fell 9.2%, set for worst day since September, after the U.S. parcel delivery company cut its fiscal 2020 profit forecast on heavy expenses, slowing global trade and the fallout from its breakup with Amazon.com Inc.

A Wall Street rally, spurred by hopes of an initial U.S.-China trade deal last week, propelled the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record closing levels for four straight sessions.

All three major indexes are on pace for their sixth straight session of gains and if the S&P 500 ends the day higher, it will be its longest streak of record closes since January 2018.

The benchmark index has gained over 27% so far this year, rising in all but two months as investors cheered three interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and progress in trade relations between Washington and Beijing.

“The market hitting new record highs on a daily basis is largely based on some of the good macro news that we’ve had over the past several weeks, indicating that a soft patch seems to have abated,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

With little chance of another major update on trade progress between the world’s top two economies before the end of the year, analysts say the market will likely stay around present levels.

One of the risk factors still on the horizon is an almost certain impeachment of President Donald Trump as the House of Representatives gears up for a historic voting on two charges accusing him of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

At 10:16 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 22.86 points, or 0.08%, at 28,290.02, the S&P 500 was up 1.43 points, or 0.04%, at 3,193.95 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 5.77 points, or 0.07%, at 8,829.13.

The results from FedEx also pressured shares of rival United Parcel Service Inc, with the Dow Jones Transport Average down 1.3%.

The healthcare sector was boosted by Eli Lilly & Co , which gained 3.1%, after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “overweight”.

In results-driven moves, General Mills Inc rose 1.1% as strong demand for the Lucky Charms maker’s pet food helped it beat quarterly profit estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.20-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 92 new highs and 27 new lows.

Reporting by Uday Sampath, C Nivedita and Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shinjini Ganguli

Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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