US Markets

Dow rises nearly 100 points to another record close, Boeing shares lead the gains

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Boeing shares lift Dow higher after CEO steps down

Stocks climbed higher on Monday, hitting new records, as the year-end rally continues.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 96.44 points higher to 28,551.53, while the S&P 500 rose 0.1%, or 2.79 points, to 3,224.01 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.2%, or 20.69 points, to 8,945.65. The three major averages all posted record closes. Shares of Boeing led the gains, jumping 2.9% after the company ousted CEO Dennis Muilenburg amid the 737 Max crisis.

Investors cheered the news that China will cut import tariffs on a wide range of goods. China's finance ministry announced starting January 1, it will lower import tariffs on over 850 products ranging from frozen pork to some types of semiconductors. China is making efforts to boost imports amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the U.S.

"Stocks are grinding relentlessly higher into year-end on continued momentum from the positive resolution of four key events: A phase one trade deal, a dovish Fed, economic data that isn't getting worse and Brexit resolution," Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report, said in a note on Monday.

Wall Street posted fresh record highs on Friday as stocks continued to rally on the back of an easing of geopolitical risks. The S&P 500 was up more than 1.5% last week and posted its fourth consecutive weekly gain. The benchmark has risen for the eighth time in the past nine sessions and rallied 28.6% for 2019 through Monday's close.

Trading volumes were subdued ahead of Christmas. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) traded about 41 million shares, well below its 30-day volume average of 60 million shares.

The U.S. stock market closes at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday for Christmas Eve and is closed on Wednesday for Christmas. Thursday and Friday are regular trading days.

Santa rally?

This time of year tends to be beneficial for investors as the so-called Santa Claus rally has historically given the stock market a short boost. During the final five trading days of the year and the first two tradings days of the new year, the S&P 500 has posted a 1.3% gain on average since 1950, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.

Apple rose 1.6% on Monday after Wedbush's Dan Ives — the tech giant's biggest bull on Wall Street — raised his price target to $350 a share, 25% higher than where the stock currently trades.

On the data front, new home sales in November totaled 719,000, 13,000 less than expected, the U.S. Census Bureau said Monday. Durable goods orders rose 0.1% last month, in line with estimates but down 1.1% from the same month a year ago.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he had held a "very good talk" with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the recently agreed phase one trade deal, further boosting investor sentiment going into the holiday season.

Meanwhile, British media reported Sunday that Trump has invited U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to visit the White House in the new year, amid hopes of a transatlantic trade deal following Britain's departure from the European Union on January 31.

— CNBC's Elliot Smith contributed to this report.