US Markets

S&P 500 ekes out another record, notches longest winning streak in a month

Krishna Memani: Strong US dollar, trade issues are impacting emerging markets
Krishna Memani: Strong US dollar, trade issues are impacting emerging markets

The S&P 500 rose slightly to a fresh an all-time high on Tuesday and posted its longest winning streak since November.

The broad index closed just above the flatline at 3,192.52 and reached an intraday record of 3,198.25. The S&P 500 also closed higher for the fifth straight session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite ended the day with record closing highs. The Dow climbed 31.27 points, or 0.1% to 28,267.16 while the Nasdaq also advanced 0.1% to 8,823.36.

Netflix jumped more than 3% after the streaming giant disclosed strong membership growth numbers in key regions, including Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Johnson & Johnson climbed 1.3% after a Morgan Stanley analyst upgraded the stock, noting many of the company's structural issues "have been addressed." Shares of Apple closed 0.2% higher and hit a fresh record high.

Tuesday's move added to the solid upside moves from Monday. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% in the previous session while the Dow advanced more than 100 points. The Nasdaq closed 0.9% on Monday.

"Yesterday's surge has helped this parabolic rally to continue, and while overbought now, … there hasn't been any evidence of price reversing course," said Mark Newton, managing member of Newton Advisors, in a note.

The move higher follows a preliminary trade agreement between the world's two largest economies. Late last week, President Donald Trump and Chinese officials announced that the U.S. and China had agreed to a so-called "phase one" agreement.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 23, 2019 in New York City.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez | Getty Images

It is understood that Beijing agreed to billions of dollars in agricultural purchases from the U.S., while Trump said he would not move ahead with a new round of planned tariffs, among other items.

The deal, which is not yet signed, is set to be confirmed in the first week of January, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Lighthizer also told Fox Business on Tuesday that the so-called phase one deal between the two countries is "totally enforceable."

To be sure, the U.S.-China trade conflict is still not fully resolved. Some of the more pressing issues of the negotiations, including forced technology transfers, will not be fully addressed until a phase-two deal is reached.

But for the time being, the temporary resolution to the U.S.-China trade war clears the path for stocks to keep moving higher in what has already been a banner year on Wall Street. It also sets up for another strong year in 2020, said Rich Sega, global chief investment strategist at Conning.

"I don't think we're going to see another year like 2019, but I have the same feeling I had last year: I think the market can do better than its long-run average," Sega said. "There isn't anything in the way that couldn't be avoided in terms of mistakes. We could make those mistakes, especially monetary policy errors, but if we don't, the underlying economy will do well."

The S&P 500 came into Tuesday's session up 27.3% year to date, its biggest annual gain since 2013. The Dow and Nasdaq were up 21% and 32.8%, respectively.

On the data front, U.S. housing starts rose more than expected in November as building permits surged to a 12½-year high.

—CNBC's Sam Meredith contributed to this report.