Sun, 23 Feb 2020

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks rallied to new record highs on Friday.

The U.S. dollar too was in huge demand, crash-tackling all the major currencies.

Strong housing data in the U.S. offset disappointing GDP numbers out of China.

"The macro data points both here and abroad have been relatively positive," Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles told the Reuters Thomson news agency Friday.

"That is creating an increased sense of optimism going into not just the earnings, but also guidance which is far more important at this point for both Q1 and fiscal 2020."

At the close on Friday, the Dow Jones index was ahead 50.46 points or 0.17% at 29,348.10. The peak heralded the third consecutive all-time daily high.

The Standard and Poors 500 rose 12.81 points or 0.39% to 3,329.62.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 31.81 points or 0.34% to 9,388.94.

The U.S. dollar was solidly higher across the board. The euro tumbled to 1.1092. The British pound dived to 1.3013.

The Japanese yen fell to 110.16.

The Swiss franc eased to 0.9679.

The Canadian dollar was lower at 1.3067. The Australian dollar dropped sharply to 0.6877. The New Zealand dollar was easier at 0.6614.

Overseas, the FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.85%. The German Dax rose 0.72%. In Paris, the CAC 40 added 1.02%.

On Asian markets, China's Shanghai Composite finished flat, rising just 1.41 points or 0.05% to 3,075.54.

Elsewhere in the region, in Japan the Nikkei 225 gained 108.13 points o r0.45% to 24,041.26.

The Australian All Ordinaries rose 21.70 points or 0.30% to 7,180.30.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng jumped 173.36 points or 0.60% to 29,056.42.

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