December 23, 2019 / 6:18 PM / 6 months ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq extend record run amid trade optimism; Boeing boosts Dow

* Boeing shares rise on CEO exit

* Apache up after joint venture with Total

* S&P 500 boosted by technology, industrials

* Indexes rise: Dow 0.39%, S&P 0.12%, Nasdaq 0.28% (Updates price action)

By Manas Mishra

Dec 23 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit fresh record highs on Monday as President Donald Trump said an initial U.S.-China trade pact would be signed soon, while Boeing was a big boost to the Dow after the planemaker fired its chief executive officer.

Boeing Co jumped 2.7% and also lifted the S&P 500 industrials sector after CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s exit following a year of intense scrutiny and industrial setbacks set off by twin fatal crashes of its 737 MAX jetliner.

“Boeing is a tailwind for the markets for the day. It will be pretty quiet this week and probably going into year end,” said Keith Gangl, portfolio manager of Gradient Investments in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“The markets have been pretty strong year to date, and I don’t expect that to change.”

The benchmark S&P 500, which logged its biggest weekly percentage gain since early September last week, hit an all-time intraday high for the eighth straight session on Monday.

The Phase 1 U.S.-China deal, announced earlier this month, has helped fuel a rally on Wall Street, and the momentum continues on signs of improving trade relations between the two countries. The benchmark S&P 500 is up about 29% in 2019, set for its best year since 2013.

Trump said over the weekend that the interim trade deal would be signed “very shortly”. Additionally, China said it would cut tariffs on products including frozen pork, avocado and some types of semiconductors next year.

With few economic indicators expected in a trading week shortened by the Christmas holiday, volumes are expected to be light.

Five of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with technology stocks providing the biggest boost as shares of tariff-sensitive Apple Inc rose 1.5%.

At 12:39 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 110.56 points, or 0.39%, at 28,565.65, the S&P 500 was up 3.95 points, or 0.12%, at 3,225.17. The Nasdaq Composite was up 25.21 points, or 0.28%, at 8,950.17.

Apache Corp jumped 14.7%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the oil and gas producer said it had formed a joint venture with France’s Total to develop a project off Suriname.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 42 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 118 new highs and 25 new lows. (Reporting by Manas Mishra and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Shounak Dasgupta and Maju Samuel)

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