Markets

S&P 500 jumps to another record as rally stretches to 4 weeks

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Hirsch: If the Santa Claus Rally should fail to call, bears may come to Broad & Wall

Stocks rose and made fresh record highs on Friday to end a week that saw solid gains as geopolitical risks abate toward the end of a blockbuster 2019.

Wall Street also got a boost after President Donald Trump tweeted he had a "very good talk" with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the U.S.-China trade deal, noting "China has already started large scale purchases of agricultural product & more."

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Meanwhile, consumer spending growth for the third quarter was revised higher to 3.2% from 2.9%. Sentiment among consumers also remained strong in December.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 3,221.23 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.4% to 8,924.96 and notched an eight-day winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 78.13 points, or 0.3% to 28,455.09.

Carnival shares led the S&P 500 higher, surging more than 7% on strong quarterly results. Verizon and 3M both rose more than 1.8% to push the Dow into record levels.

The S&P 500 was up more than 1.5% for the week and posted its fourth consecutive weekly gain. The Dow and Nasdaq were up 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively, for the week. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also had their best weekly performance since August.

"You're seeing the geopolitical risk that was in the market seep out now," said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management. "You had the Fed backstopping risk throughout the year but you had those geopolitical worries. Now, they're abating and the market is moving higher."

Traders work after the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 15, 2019 at Wall Street in New York City.
JOHANNES EISELE | AFP | Getty Images

Trump and Chinese officials said last week that both countries agreed to a so-called phase one trade deal that will be signed next month. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he had no doubt trade negotiators representing the U.S. and China would sign their so-called "phase one" trade deal in early January.

China's Xi also said Friday the deal benefits both countries "and the entire world," according to state-run media agency Xinhua.

Trade worries have kept investors on edge for most of 2019, raising concern over the state of the global economy and keeping a lid on corporate earnings expectations. Despite this nervousness, Wall Street is on pace to notch a banner annual performance.

The S&P 500 is up nearly 28.5% year to date with less than 10 trading days left in 2019. That would be the index's best one-year performance since 2013, when it rallied 29.6%.

Stocks tend to carry such strong momentum into the following year. Data compiled by Nordea Research shows the S&P 500 posted positive returns the year after rallying more than 25% in 12 of 18 occasions.

"However, one might want to keep in mind that 2019 offered a perfect starting point after the appearance of a Bad Santa by the end of 2018," noted Nordea strategists Martin Enlund and Andreas Steno Larsen.

—CNBC's Sam Meredith contributed to this report.