US Markets

Dow ekes out record close as Boeing jumps, but trade and Hong Kong worries cap gains

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The markets think we're in a trade truce, strategist says

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed slightly higher on Monday, erasing a deficit of 163 points, as Boeing shares popped on news it will resume deliveries of beleaguered 737 Max jet next month.

The 30-stock average ended the day up 10.25 points, or 0.04% at 27,691.49, notching a fresh record closing high. Boeing shares were up more than 4.5% on the news.

But the rest of the market closed lower amid lingering U.S.-China trade worries while protests in Hong Kong escalated.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to 3,087.01, snapping a three-day winning streak, led lower by the utilities and energy sectors. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.1% to close at 8,464.28.

Cisco Systems and Qualcomm shares dropped 1.5% and 2.3%, respectively, following analyst downgrades. Those losses were offset slightly by a 5.1% jump in Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange on October 2, 2019.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

"After the strong rallies we've seen off the August lows, many global stock markets have become overbought on a short-term basis," said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, in a note. "It would be healthy for these market if they took some time to work over these short-term overbought conditions…before they made a more serious attempt to breakout on a longer-term basis."

The major indexes had been on a tear recently that led them to all-time highs. Over the past month, the Dow is up around 3%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have risen about 4% and 5%, respectively.

President Donald Trump said Friday he had not agreed to roll back tariffs on China. Those comments came after the Chinese commerce ministry said that both sides had agreed to cancel existing tariffs in phases. A U.S. official also reportedly said both sides agreed to roll back the tariffs in tranches.

The stock market's recent move to record highs comes in part because of improving sentiment around U.S.-China trade talks. With his comments on Friday, Trump dampened trade expectations in the market.

"The macro backdrop is certainly much improved from where things stood in Sept and the trade landscape is about to be the most favorable in years," Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note. "However, 'phase one' expectations are very elevated ... and valuations are quite stretched."

Market players are also following new demonstrations in Hong Kong. Local police opened fire at protesters, leaving one in critical condition. Separately, another protester was set aflame after being doused with an unknown substance and is also in critical condition.

Hong Kong stocks fell sharply amid the protest escalation, with the Hang Seng index sliding 2.6% overnight.

In corporate news, Bloomberg News reported private equity company KKR formally approached Walgreens about a potential leveraged buyout. The report comes after sources told CNBC the drug store chain was thinking about going private.

—CNBC's Michael Bloom and Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.