Stocks jumped on Monday as the United States and Mexico closed a new trade deal. Investors also digested reassuring comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the central bank’s policy-tightening path.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260 points as Caterpillar outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to an all-time high, breaking above 8,000 for the first time, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to hit a record high with materials and financials as the best-performing sectors.
“The market has been buffeted with a lot of headwinds lately, and the biggest one is trade,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. “If you were to take trade out of the picture, you would have a smoother ride higher in this market.”
President Donald Trump said the deal would be called The United States-Mexico Trade agreement, getting rid of the NAFTA name. “The name NAFTA has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA,” he said. Trump added that the deal with Mexico is also very special for farmers and manufacturers.
The comment comes after Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Sunday both countries were close to resolving key differences on trade. This would pave the way for a new deal between the two longtime trade partners. “We’ve continued making progress,” Guajardo said.
Trump tweeted earlier on Monday that a deal with Mexico was “looking good.”
Shares of Caterpillar and Boeing rose 2.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Their stocks are considered trade bellwethers because of their large exposure to overseas markets. Shares of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler also rose.
The Mexican peso rose 1.2 percent against the dollar.
Investors have been grappling with trade worries over the past few months as the U.S. takes a more protectionist stance on the matter. The U.S. has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth in Mexican and Chinese imports, to which Mexico and China have retaliated.