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US: S&P 500 nears record high on trade progress, upbeat Intel earnings

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US stocks rose on Friday after Washington said it was close to finalising parts of a trade pact with Beijing and strong quarterly results from Intel Corp boosted investor sentiment, sending the S&P 500 briefly over the record high close it set three months ago.

[NEW YORK] US stocks rose on Friday after Washington said it was close to finalising parts of a trade pact with Beijing and strong quarterly results from Intel Corp boosted investor sentiment, sending the S&P 500 briefly over the record high close it set three months ago.

During the session, the benchmark index peaked at 3,027.39, which surpassed its closing record of 3,025.86 on July 26. It ended at 3,022.55, and the S&P 500 total return index notched an all-time high.

US stocks rose early after the US Trade Representative's office said deputy-level talks would continue. President Donald Trump said China wanted "to make a deal very badly".

Wall Street enjoyed a strong week, boosted by a clutch of better-than-expected third-quarter earnings reports. The S&P 500 posted its biggest weekly percentage gain in seven weeks, the Nasdaq its biggest in eight weeks.

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Market voices on:

"The little bit of positive trade news has pushed the market up, but it wasn't all that negative even before this news came up," said Andrew Slimmon, senior portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management in New York. "There's not a lot of selling left out there."

Intel's quarterly report added to Friday's upbeat sentiment. The chipmaker's shares jumped 8.1 per cent, their largest daily percentage gain since January 2018, after the company beat Wall Street revenue and profit estimates and raised its full-year revenue forecast.

The gain in Intel helped propel the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index to a record high.

Amazon.com Inc fell after the e-commerce giant forecast revenue and profit for the crucial holiday quarter below estimates. Amazon shares ended 1.1 per cent lower, well off their session low.

"The market reaction to Amazon wasn't as bad as people thought, which created a positive atmosphere," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.53 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 26,958.06, the S&P 500 gained 12.26 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 3,022.55 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.32 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 8,243.12.

For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.2 per cent, the Dow gained 0.7 per cent and the Nasdaq climbed 1.9 per cent.

Charter Communications Inc shares gained 6.2 per cent. The cable operator's results beat forecasts, fuelled by customer growth in broadband services.

Boeing Co shares dropped 1.4 per cent after Indonesian authorities looking into October 2018's Lion Air crash said the world's largest planemaker failed to grasp risks in the design of cockpit software on its 737 MAX jet.

Shares of VF Corp fell 7.3 per cent after the apparel maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as competition intensified for its Vans and Timberland brands.

The next round of earnings due next week includes Apple Inc , Alphabet Inc, Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.41-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.50-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 83 new highs and 59 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.29 billion shares, compared to the 6.46 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

REUTERS