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Stocks Set New Records to Finish Off Winning Week

Stocks Set New Records to Finish Off Winning Week

Stocks closed at all-time highs after U.S. officials said they’re making progress in the latest push for a trade agreement with China and more in Friday’s Stock Market Update.

Technology stocks were the biggest winners Friday. Applied Materials (AMAT) jumped 8.9% after reporting strong results.

Health insurers rose after the Trump administration announced a rule forcing hospitals to make public the rates they negotiate with insurers for their services.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) rose 5.3%.

Restoration Hardware and Occidental Petroleum rose after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it had picked up shares in both companies.

“Over the past week the market absorbed a number of challenging trade headlines, and it didn’t go down,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. “It might just be the case that with positive momentum, after not having had a chance to pull the market down, the bulls stepped in again and said ‘let’s keep this thing going.’”

A report showing U.S. retail sales rebounded a modest 0.3% in October after falling the previous month also helped put traders in a buying mood. J.C. Penney surged after it raised its profit forecast.

Health care stocks were big winners, led by solid gains by health insurers after the Trump administration announced a rule forcing hospitals to make public the rates they negotiate with insurers for their services.

Technology stocks also helped drive the market higher. Companies in the sector are particularly sensitive to swings in trade sentiment because many of them rely on China for sales and supply chains.

Bond prices fell, pushing yields higher, a signal that investors were shifting away from safe-play holdings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.83% from 1.81% late Thursday.

Materials stocks and makers of household goods lagged the market.

Investors hope the world’s two biggest economies can make a deal before new and more damaging tariffs take effect next month. Beijing is pressing Washington to roll back tariffs as part of a potential deal that the nations are trying to hammer out.

On Friday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business that it is likely a trade deal will get done, though he noted that it’s still possible a pact could unravel at the last minute as it did in when both sides got close to a deal in May.

STOCK MARKET UPDATE

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or 0.8%, to 3,120. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 222 points, or 0.8%, to 28,004. The Nasdaq rose 61 points, or 0.7%, to 8,540.

Asian and European markets finished higher.

A HEALTHY BOOST: Health insurers led all health care sector stocks after the Trump administration officially announced a rule that would require hospitals and insurers to make public the rates they negotiate for drugs, doctor visits and other health care services. Humana (HUM) climbed 5.5%, UnitedHealth Group rose 4.3% and Anthem (ANTM) gained 5.6%.

BUFFETT BUMP: Luxury retailer RH (RH) climbed 7.5% and energy company Occidental Petroleum (OXY) gained 3.1% after Warren Buffett’s company disclosed that it had picked up shares of both companies.

BIG FISH: Amarin (AMRN) jumped 11.7% after a government advisory panel recommended broader use of its fish oil-based heart disease drug Vascepa. Financial analysts predict that broader use of the drug could translate into billions in sales.

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: J.C. Penney (JCP) vaulted 5.4% after the struggling department store chain reported a smaller quarterly loss and raised its annual profit forecast.

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