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Stocks Finish Higher in Week of Trade Turbulence: Markets Wrap

Vildana Hajric
Stocks Finish Higher in Week of Trade Turbulence: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. equities finished a week of dueling tariff headlines on a high note, as investors tried to anticipate the next moves in the trade war with China. Ten-year Treasury yields gained, while the dollar rose and West Texas crude held above $57 a barrel.

The S&P 500 Index ticked up to a new closing high Friday, surpassing a record set the previous session and registering its fifth consecutive weekly gain, sparked by optimism that global growth troubles are dissipating. Tech shares and health-care stocks led advancers, while energy and utilities slid. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session little changed, while the Nasdaq Composite also reached a record.

Investors have been whipsawed the past two days amid an onslaught of contradictory headlines about progress toward an interim deal in the U.S.-China trade war. Officials from the two countries both said Thursday that a phase-one agreement would feature pledges to roll back tariffs on each others’ goods in phases, but President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. hasn’t agreed to a rollback, dimming hopes for a preliminary trade deal anytime soon.

“Investors figure that, by and large, something will get done. Investors think that some trade deal is going to come over the coming months, very possibly by year’s end,” said Rick Bensignor, the founder of Bensignor Group and a former strategist for Morgan Stanley. “It’s a positive step towards doing something that shows two countries can come together and get some stuff done.”

Insurance and financial companies weighed on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, but the gauge still scored a weekly gain as well. China’s exports declined less than expected in October as optimism rose about an interim trade deal, though imports contracted for a sixth straight month. The offshore yuan edged lower though stayed stronger than 7 per dollar.

Elsewhere, an early rally for Asian stocks fizzled, leaving most shares down in the region. Hong Kong equities were among the worst performing after the death of student protester threatened to inflame demonstrations planned for this weekend. Japanese 10-year government bond yields climbed alongside their Australian peers.

Here are the main moves in markets:

--With assistance from Joanna Ossinger, Adam Haigh and Constantine Courcoulas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Andrew Dunn

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